Most important archaeological trove in Portugal since 1994
Divers discovered an old shipwreck on the west coast of Portugal. The ship that transported pepper from India, sunk probably towards the end of the 16th century.
The wreck was discovered on 3 September 2018 at the mouth of the Tagus River. Divers made the discovery at 12 meters depth as part of a research project. According to the Portuguese authorities, the ship probably sank between 1575 and 1625.
At least nine bronze cannons with Portuguese coat of arms where on the ship. In addition, the divers found Chinese porcelain from the time of Emperor Wanli from 1573 to 1619 as well as pepper and mussels. These served as currency.
According to project leader Jorge Freire, it is "the most significant archaeological trove in Portugal since 1994". Since the ship had loaded pepper, so it’s assumed that it had come from India.
To protect against looting the diver have already recovered some items from the wreck. Now wreck and cargo are being investigated further. Already in 1994, a wreck from the early 17th century had been found in the region. In both cases it concerns the type of ship Nao.
A Nao is a cargo ship with two or three masts. The ship type was developed by Portuguese and Spaniards.