The Oranjemund shipwreck, Namibia. The excavation of sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest discovered wreck
AbstractOn 1 April 2008, parts of an historic shipwreck were unearthed during diamond-mining operations near Oranjemund, Namibia. Initial investigations undertaken during that same month indicated that it was, most probably, the remnants of an outward-bound Portuguese ship that foundered during the second quarter of the sixteenth century. The Oranjemund shipwreck is the oldest wreck ever found in sub-Saharan Africa and received world-wide attention in the media. After an initial survey was undertaken and a representative sample of artifacts and ecofacts recovered, the site was reburied. Following this, the Namibian Government stepped in and took control of the project. A Second Phase investigation was undertaken under supervision of the author during September and October 2008, resulting in full-scale excavation of the site. This article describes aspects of archaeological fieldwork.
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