The Pepper Wreck: A Portuguese Indiaman at the Mouth of the Tagus River


In 1606, a Portuguese ship, "Nossa Senhora dos Martires," put into Lisbon laden with peppercorns, porcelain, and other products from Cochin. A large vessel for the time, the merchantman displaced twelve hundred tons and carried three to four masts. The ship foundered during a storm in a northern channel of the Tagus River. Within hours the currents and the storm had torn it asunder and spread its precious cargo along the shores of the estuary. "The Pepper Wreck" tells the story of the ship's excavation by crews working in ...

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