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‘Ingredients of Empire’: peppercorns, shells, sugar and slavery

The wreck of the Nossa Senhora dos Mártires (‘Pepper Wreck’) off Lisbon is the inspiration for this story, which explores how Portugal developed a maritime trading empire stretching across the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic during the Middle Ages. An empire built on spices, exotic cowrie shells, sugar and the trafficking of enslaved peoples from Africa.

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Discover interesting links in this story: to the work of an organisation, Diving With a Purpose, which has a special focus on the protection, documentation and interpretation of African slave trade shipwrecks and the maritime history and culture of African-Americans. And to the work of independent fashion curator and creative director, Sunny Dolat.

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