Image: Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
"The researchers found 16 tiny fragments of paper in a mass of wet sludge crammed inside the chamber of a breech-loading cannon (how it got there is anyone's guess)". I very much doubt that this writer can tell the difference between a breech-loader & a muzzle-loader cannon!
The first modern breech-loading rifled gun is a breech-loader invented by Martin von Wahrendorff with a cylindrical breech plug secured by a horizontal wedge in 1837. In the 1850s and 1860s, Whitworth and Armstrong invented improved breech loading artillery.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breech-loading_weapon#Artillery
The main focus of this article is on what pirates used to read aboard ship, where as I am more interested in the fact that they were using printed paper as wadding in the cannons.