“Archeologists on Thursday began to retrieve and clean relics from a second cabin of the sunken merchant vessel Nan’ao No 1 in South China’s Guangdong province,” xinhuanet.com reports. “Tin ware, iron shotguns and canons were also retrieved. ‘This indicates Chinese people had begun to use iron shotguns and canons since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644),’ said Chen Huasha, a senior researcher at the Bejing-based Palace Museum, who has been observing the salvage operation.” Actually, as you can see, weapons from this era were extremely sophisticated. Chinese archeologists have discovered bronze shotguns manufactured during the Yuan Dynasty (1279 – 1368). FYI: King Henry VII’s 1537 matchlock harquebus is the earliest example of a hand-fired gun in the Tower of London armories.

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