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05/02/2008 04:48 PM ID: 70426 Permalink   

Sunken Treasure in African Shipwreck


De Beers diamond hunters have stumbled upon a shipwreck whose origin could date back to Africa's earliest European explorers. The wreck contains a wealth of early Spanish and Portuguese coins, copper ingots and ivory. It was also well armed.

The discovery was made off the coast of Namibia where De Beers and the Namibian Government have a joint venture under way prospecting for diamonds. The particular stretch of coast is notorious for shipping, and has been, in modern times, avoided.

An element of mystery surrounds the wreck due to the nature of the cargo. A merchant vessel would be unlikely to be laden with both money and goods. Archaeologist Dieter Noli suggests that the captain either made a great deal or he was a pirate.

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