Friday, May 02, 2008

In dreams

Wow wow wow! Just when you thought the days of treasure hunting were over, geologists, prospecting for De Beers, have found a sunken ship laden with treasure off the coast of Africa.

According to Yahoo News
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The ship was laden with tons of copper ingots, elephant tusks, gold coins — and cannons to fend off pirates. But it had nothing to protect it from the fierce weather off a particularly bleak stretch of inhospitable African coast, and it sank 500 years ago.

The geologists stopped the brutal earth-moving work of searching for diamonds and sent photos to Noli (Dr Dieter Noli, the chief archaeologist of the Southern Africa Institute of Maritime Archaeological Research), who had done research in the Namibian desert since the mid-1980s and has advised De Beers since 1996 on the archaeological impact of its operations in Namibia.

Judging from the notables depicted on the hoard of Spanish and Portuguese coins, and the type of cannons and navigational equipment, the ship went down in the late 1400s or early 1500s, around the time Vasco de Gama and Columbus were plying the waters of the New World

The find "was what I'd been waiting for, for 20 years," Noli said. "Understandably, I was pretty excited. I still am." Continue reading

I would have LOVED to have been there when they started hauling stuff up. Imagine handling items that had last been touched by another human 500 years ago? Truly exiting and wonderful, and the kind of thing I imagine archeologist's and indeed most of us, dream about.

Photos here.

Source: Yahoo News

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