In a breathtaking archeological find, a ship that vanished five centuries ago has been uncovered in a desert in southwest Africa. This amazing discovery reveals that the ship was carrying gold coins as part of its precious cargo.
The ship, a Portuguese warship that set sail from Lisbon on March 7, 1533, remained a mystery until 2008 when its remains were found during diamond mining along the coast of Namibia. As it voyaged towards India, a powerful storm caused it to capsize, taking valuable treasures like copper and gold ingots down with it. Surprisingly, when the ship was finally discovered, nearly all of the two thousand pure gold coins and thousands of pounds of copper ingots were still intact.
Along with the wealth, the shipwreck harbored many other fascinating artifacts. Dr. Noli, a senior archaeologist at the Southern Africa Institute of Maritime Archaeological Research, explains that given recent storm activity in the area, uncovering a shipwreck is not entirely unexpected. However, what was unexpected was the speedy recovery of a treasure chest containing gold coins dating back to 1533, confirming the ship’s origin.
According to Dr. Noli, the ship is believed to have sunk off the coast of Namibia during a violent storm that pushed it too close to the shore, causing it to collide with a rock and tip over. As the water retreated, the ship reemerged in the desert. Although the severe storm caused significant damage to the ship, the absence of human remains suggests that the crew either perished at sea or managed to escape the disaster.
The findings from further investigation revealed the presence of bronze bowls and long metal poles that were later identified as cannons. Additionally, the excavation unearthed muskets, metal fragments, swords, astrological instruments, compasses, a time capsule, and even silver coins. Based on the cargo recovered, Dr. Noli and other experts believe the ship was en route from Lisbon, Portugal, to Western India, a common path for Portuguese ships at that time.
The ship, named Bom Jesus, now stands as a priceless and ancient shipwreck found along Sub-Saharan Africa’s western coast. Its location, known as Sperrgebiet or “forbidden territory,” had been explored by German prospectors in search of diamonds. Today, the remains of the ship are protected by mine security and only accessible to a limited group of individuals. Although the idea of a museum has been discussed, its realization is uncertain.
This extraordinary discovery not only provides a glimpse into the past but also reminds us of the awe-inspiring adventures that lie beneath the surface of our planet.