The discovery of a ship that went missing five centuries ago in the southwest African desert and had gold coins on board has been one of the most amazing archeological finds in recent years.
On March 7, 1533, a Portuguese warship sailed away from Lisbon. When its bones were found in 2008 during diamond mining off the coast of Namibia, its whereabouts were unclear.
A violent storm tossed it over as it headed towards India, taking valuables like copper and gold ingots with it. Tens of thousands of pounds of copper ingots, nearly all of which were found intact, and two thousand pieces of pure gold were found on board the ship.
The ship in the desert had a big cargo in addition to money.
Given that storms have been known to lash the coastline recently, Dr. Noli, senior archaeologist at the Southern Africa Institute of Maritime Archaeological Research, says the discovery of a shipwreck is not surprising.
But after just one week of excavation, gold coins were found in a treasure box, and it was discovered that the cash had come from a Portuguese ship that had vanished in 1533.
It is reported that the ship sank during a storm off the coast of Namibia when the hull struck a rock and toppled over due to being hauled too near to shore. When the waters off the coast receded, it surfaced once more in the desert.
The ship’s condition upon discovery, with the exception of a few isolated bone fragments, suggests that the storm that caused the disaster was very strong; nonetheless, the absence of human remains suggests that the majority of the crew either perished at sea or were able to escape the crash.
Dr. Noli told Australia’s News Com, “It gives new meaning to the concept of the ship being loaded with gold.”
Subsequent investigation revealed the presence of bronze bowls, and the lengthy metal poles were ultimately recognized as canons.
Apart from the musket, which they estimated to be 500 years old or older, Dr. Noli’s team also found metal pieces that indicated a shipwreck was concealed in the sand. Discoveries included time capsules, astrological instruments, swords, cannons, and compasses. Additionally, silver coins were found.
Based on the contents of the catastrophe, Dr. Noli and other experts believe the ship was sailing towards Western India from its home port in Lisbon, Portugal, past the southern edge of Africa.
During that time, comparable Portuguese vessels transporting same goods often used this path.
The Bom Jesus is now the most valuable and antiquated shipwreck found off the western coast of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Sperrgebiet, or “forbidden territory,” was the name given to the location where the ship was found because hundreds of German prospectors looking for diamonds had already investigated there.
The complex, the result of a partnership between the Namibian government and the diamond company DeBeers, is still mostly underwater, according to CNN.
The remnants of the shipwreck are currently under mine security and are inaccessible to everyone but a small number of individuals. There has been discussion about a potential museum concept, although it is not certain if it will come to pass.