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January 08, 2013

Relitto del Pozzino

"Medicinal tablets retrieved from a 2000-year-old shipwreck suggest that classical Mediterranean civilizations had sophisticated drugs."

Among them was a small tin cylinder known at the time as a "pyxis," that contained five tablets that were about 4 cm in diameter and had been preserved from the elements by a tight-fitting lid. Italian scientists recently analyzed fragments from one tablet and found primarily two zinc-rich materials (hydrozincite and smithsonite), as well as various animal and plant residues, pollen grains, beeswax, and pine resin.

Etruscan Studies: Shipwreck at Baratti (pdf).

It was the second century B.C., and at the outlet of the small gulf of Populonia and a few hundred meters from the port of the ancient Etruscan city, there sank a Roman ship with a cargo that was homogenous and somewhat mysterious. Of particular importance is the discovery of objects relating to the probable presence of a doctor on board the ship.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at January 8, 2013 09:27 AM