3,000-year-old shipwreck shows European trade was thriving in Bronze Age
- On 27/02/2012
- In Underwater Archeology
The trading vessel was carrying an extremely valuable cargo of tin and hundreds of copper ingots from the Continent when it sank.
Experts say the "incredibly exciting" discovery provides new evidence about the extent and sophistication of Britain's links with Europe in the Bronze Age as well as the remarkable seafaring abilities of the people during the period.
Archaeologists have described the vessel, which is thought to date back to around 900BC, as being a "bulk carrier" of its age.
The copper and tin would have been used for making bronze – the primary product of the period which was used in the manufacture of not only weapons, but also tools, jewellery, ornaments and other items.
Archaeologists believe the copper – and possibly the tin – was being imported into Britain and originated in a number of different countries throughout Europe, rather than from a single source, demonstrating the existence of a complex network of trade routes across the Continent.