De Beers Finds Shipwreck, Treasure From Columbus Era





De Beers, the world's biggest undersea diamond miner, said its geologists in Namibia found the wreckage of an ancient sailing ship still laden with treasure, including six bronze cannons, thousands of Spanish and Portuguese gold coins and more than 50 elephant tusks.

The wreckage was discovered in the area behind a sea wall used to push back the Atlantic Ocean in order to search for diamonds in Namibia's Sperrgebiet or "Forbidden Zone."

"If the experts' assessments are correct, the shipwreck could date back to the late 1400s or early 1500s, making it a discovery of global significance,'' Namdeb Diamond Corp., a joint venture between De Beers and the Namibian government, said in an e-mailed statement from the capital, Windhoek, today.

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