Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Discovery Of "Diamond Shipwreck"

Five centuries ago Portuguese trading vessel loaded with a fortune in gold and ivory was on the way to India, but wrecked off a beach laden with diamonds.
Last year it was discovered in the beach sands of diamond-mining area on Namibia's southern coast. Mining at the site was immediately halted, and archaeologists came to begin excavations. Copper ingots were among the first signs of the wreck discovered and later archaeologists would find 22 tons of these ingots beneath the sand, as well as cannon and swords, ivory and astrolabes, muskets and chain mail - thousands of artifacts in all. And of course gold: more than 2,000 different heavy coins - mainly Spanish excelentes, but also a smattering of Venetian, Moorish, French, and other coinage, as well as exquisite Portugueses with the coat of arms of King João III. It will take years to study the wealth of material gleaned from the Diamond Shipwreck, as it has come to be called.

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