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221 year old sunken slave ship discovered just off Clifton Beach in Cape Town [pic]
Posted by on Jun 2nd, 2015

The wreck of a sunken slave ship has been discovered off the coast of Cape Town and is believed to be first documented archaeological find of a ship that sunk while carrying slaves. The ship, a Portuguese vessel, the São José-Paquete de Africa, crashed in 1794 and artifacts found at the site of the wreck will go on display at the Smithsonian Museum. They don’t give an exact location of the ship, but given the pics i’m sure many will recognise the location as Clifton Beach in Cape Town and from the looks of it’s not that far from shore.

sunken ship cape town

The discovery is particularly significant given that it’s the first time a slave ship whick sunk with the slaves on board has been discovered.

“The discovery is significant, he said, “because there has never been archaeological documentation of a vessel that foundered and was lost while carrying a cargo of enslaved persons. The São José is all the more significant because it represents one of the earliest attempts to bring East Africans into the trans-Atlantic slave trade — a shift that played a major role in prolonging that tragic trade for decades.” [NPR]

Now you know.

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