Mediterranean shipwrecks reveal 'birth of globalisation' in trade

The ship, which is thought to have sunk around 1630, while sailing between Egypt and Istanbul , is a time-capsule that tells the story of the beginning of the globalised world, Kingsley said: “The goods and belongings of the 14 cultures and civilisations discovered, spanning on one side of the globe China, India, the Persian Gulf and Red Sea, and to the west North Africa, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium, are remarkably cosmopolitan for pre-modern shipping of anyera.” He added: “At 43 metres long and with a 1,000-ton burden, it is one of the most spectacular examples of maritime technology and trade in any ocean. Its size is matched by the breadth of its cargoes.” The Chinese porcelain includes 360 decorated cups, dishes and a bottle made in the kilns of Jingdezhen during the reign of Chongzhen, the last Ming emperor that were designed for sipping tea, but the Ottomans adapted them for the craze then spreading across the East – coffee drinking. Kingsley said: “Through tobacco smoking and coffee drinking in Ottoman cafes, the idea of recreation and polite society – hallmarks of modern culture – came to life. For science and underwater exploration, these finds are a giant leap forward.” The last phase of Enigma’s fieldwork was carried out at the end of 2015, with the post-excavation process continuing for years after and remaining unpublicised until now. Initial concerns that the site was in Cypriot waters have been disproved, Kingsley said, and the Enigmateam now hopes the entire collection will go on permanent exhibition in a major public museum.