Shipwreck treasure found off Namibia

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Namibia's diamond company, Namdeb, said Wednesday it had discovered a 500-year-old shipwreck containing a treasure of coins, ivory, copper and weapons.

"The site yielded a wealth of objects including six bronze cannons, several tons of copper, more than 50 elephant tusks, pewter tableware, navigational instruments, weapons and thousands of Spanish and Portuguese gold coins, minted in the late 1400s and early 1500s," a Namdeb spokesman said.

The company came across the wreck April 1 during mining operations at sea.

Company sources said human remains and ornaments linked to royalty found on the ship raised speculation it could be the caravel of Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias, which went missing off the Cape of Good Hope in 1500.

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