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Researchers have uncovered ancient eye medication inside a shipwreck, according to press reports in the United States.
Rare gray discs loaded with zinc and beeswax were found on board of a 2,000-year-old shipwreck, which may have been used as medicine for the eyes, the researchers said.
These findings shed new light on the development of medicine through the ages, the scientists added.
The scientists analyzed six flat gray tablets about 1.6 inches or 4 centimeters in diameter and 0.4 inches or 1 cm thick that was found in a round tin box aboard the wreck called Relitto del Pozzino, which was discovered about 60 feet or 18 meters underwater in 1974, in the seabed of the Gulf of Baratti, off the coast of Tuscany.
The hull, only about 50 to 60 feet or 15 to 18 meters long and about 10 feet or 3 meters wide, dates from around 140 BC.
The Roman shipwreck was found near the remains of the Etruscan town of Populonia. At the time that the ship sank the place was a key port along the maritime trade routes between the west and east on the Mediterranean Sea.
Several artifacts were unearthed during the excavations, including wine jars, an inkwell, pewter and bronze jars, piles of glass bowls and lamps.