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Shipwreck reveals extensive Bronze Age European trade

The discovery of a 3,000-year-old shipwreck shows that European trade was thriving way back in the Bronze Age.

The vessel, carrying copper and tin ingots used to make weapons and jewellery, sank off the coast near Salcombe in Devon and is thought to date from 900BC.

But it was only last year that the South West Maritime Archaeological Group, a team of amateur archaeologists, brought its cargo to the surface.

The discovery was not announced until this month’s International Shipwreck Conference, in Plymouth, Devon.

It is thought that the goods – 259 copper ingots and 27 of tin – were destined for Britain but collected from several different sources in Europe.

The discovery reveals the high level of sophistication maritime trade in Europe had reached, even in ancient times.

Tin ingots from this period have not been found in Britain before.

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