The ship, which disappeared five hundred years ago, was found in a desert in Southwest Africa with gold coins inside. The discovery has been one of the most exciting archaeological finds of recent years.
The Portuguese ship Bom Jesus (Good Jesus) set sail from Lisbon, Portugal on March 7, 1533. It was bound for India, laden with treasures such as gold and copper ingots, before sinking in a violent storm.
It wasn't until 2008 that its remains were discovered during diamond mining operations in the Namibian desert.
It is estimated that the hull of the Bom Jesus hit a rock in a storm off Namibia and tilted, causing the ship to capsize. The ship was found to have sunk very close to the shore. As the coastline receded, the Bom Jesus reappeared in the desert.
The condition of the ship indicates that the storm that caused the wreck was very violent. But the absence of human remains in the area, apart from a few scattered bone fragments, suggests that most of the crew and passengers, if any, survived the wreck or drowned in the waters.
Dr. Noli, chief archaeologist at the South African Institute for Marine Archaeological Research, said the coastline has recently been notorious for storms, so finding a shipwreck was hardly surprising.
A week after the excavation began, a treasure chest filled with gold was found, indicating that it came from a Portuguese ship that disappeared in 1533, Greek Reporter reported.
"It adds new meaning to the concept of the ship having being loaded with gold," Dr. Noli told News Com, Australia.
Later finds uncovered bronze bowls and long metal poles that were identified as canons.
Dr. Noli's team also found a rifle estimated to be at least 500 years old and uncovered a shipwreck with metal fragments buried in the sand. He also found compasses, swords, astrological instruments, canons and even a time capsule.
Today, the Bom Jesus is the oldest known and most valuable shipwreck ever discovered off the West coast of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Source: Greek Reporter