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Published on : Friday, March 18, 2016
The details of the discovery of the Portuguese East India shipwrecks, was unveiled by Oman Heritage and Culture Ministry, in cooperation with UK Blue Water Recoveries. The shipwrecks were part of the military fleet of Portugest explorer Vasco de Gama, during the period (1502/1503) heading to India.
The discovery was unveiled in the presence of Sayyid Mansour bin Majid al-Said, Adviser to the Minister of Heritage and Culture.
This discovery is the first of its kind in the Sultanate and the region, which is being implemented in the field of underwater archaeological excavation. Hassan bin Mohammed al-Lawati, Adviser to the Minister of Heritage and Culture for Heritage, said.
He said the ministry has sought to implement the project in cooperation with a specialised international house of expertise, adding that, the ministry abides by international standards adopted by UNESCO, for the protection of underwater archaeology under the UNESCO Convention of 2001.
He said that, the importance of the detected debris, which date back to the 16th century, is its historical background that is related to Vasco de Gama, the Portugest mariner.
The number of discoveries were nearly 2,800 artefacts, including the very important 12 gold coins, in addition to many shells and a brass bell that belongs to one of the sunken ships, named Esmeralda, which was under the command of captain Vicente Sodre.
David Mearns, the project manager, explained that, the recovered artefacts have contributed to disclose the identity of the ship, Esmeralda, mastered by Vicente Sodre.