Shipwrecked 2,000-Year-Old Pills Give Clues to Ancient Medicine: "Scientists are trying to unravel the mystery of whether pills found in a 2,000-year-old shipwreck were, in fact, created and used as effective plant-based medicines.
And the bigger question: Could the ingredients of these ancient tablets still work to help with modern illnesses?
Around 130 B.C., a ship, identified as the Relitto del Pozzino, sank off Tuscany, Italy. Among the artifacts found on board in 1989 were glass cups, a pitcher and ceramics, all of which suggested that the ship was sailing from the eastern Mediterranean area.
Its cargo also included a chest that contained various items related to the medical profession: a copper bleeding cup and 136 boxwood vials and tin containers.
Inside one of the tin vessels, archaeologists found several circular tablets, many still completely dry."