(CNN) — A long-lost warship has been discovered off the coast of China after an extensive hunt to track down relics from from a naval battle fought more than a century ago.
An archeological team had been searching for several years before it stumbled across a golden wooden name plaque bearing the name Jingyuan, says China’s National Cultural Heritage Administration.
Built at the famous Vulkan shipyard in Germany, the Jingyuan was incorporated into one of China’s naval fleets in the late 1880s.
It was lost at sea during the first Sino-Japanese war in September 1894 — a conflict fought between the Qing Empire, which ruled China until 1912, and the Empire of Japan. The ship went down in the Yellow Sea alongside three other warships.
After confirming the ship’s identity, the archeology team scanned the seabed to find its exact location 12 meters (39 feet) below the water. Sand clearing operations revealed it is resting upside down but allowed the excavation of its contents.
The team report that there are more than 500 relics remaining in the ship — including ceramics, leather goods and glass. Old weapons and revolver bullets were also discovered.
Experts say the find will have significance for the study of world naval history.