Medicinal iron tablets uncovered in ancient Roman shipwreck
Archaeologists have discovered the presence of iron oxides in medicinal treatments retrieved from an ancient Roman shipwreck located off the coast of Tuscany.
WTVM reports that two years ago a team of experts from various disciplines began analyzing the contents of pills found within a tin container from the Relitto del Pozzino shipwreck, first discovered in the Gulf of Barrati in 1974.
The team of scientists have since ascertained that in addition to containing a broad range of organic materials such as starch, beeswax, pine resin and commonplace garden plants, the green-gray pills also harbor a significant amount of iron oxide, believed by physicians in the ancient world to possess potent medicinal effects.
Experts believe that the presence of iron oxide in the tablets means they were most likely employed as eye washes or for the treatment of wounds, based on descriptions of such remedies in ancient medical texts.