SEACS is saddened to hear of the death of one of Southeast Asia’s best-known marine archaeologists, Sten Sjóstrand on 26 March 2020 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Sten’s discoveries and salvages included the Wanli, the Turiang, the Royal Nanhai and the Desaru. In the same year SEACS was founded (1969), Sten and his wife departed their home in Sweden in a 3-meter long repurposed bus to drive to Asia. They arrived three years later, having crossed all of Europe, eastern Europe, Central Asia (including Afghanistan, one of their favourite countries), literally building bridges and extending rafts to cross rivers in Southeast Asia, to arrive in Singapore. Sten had decided that the life of an ordinary Swedish engineer was not for him. He spent twenty years in Singapore designing marine/offshore structures, including designing the world’s first floating hotel, followed by twenty-eight years in Malaysia working with ancient shipwrecks from the eleventh to nineteenth centuries. His discovery and salvaging of ten different shipwrecks has greatly impacted ceramic studies in the region. Both his spirit and expertise will be sorely missed.