Treasure Hunting and Archaeology

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Thu, Feb 19, 2015 - 12:46am
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Talk about "Burn"!

"...now property of the state with no finder's fee" ;-(

Years later... "Hey, what's this stuck in the leg of my wetsuit???" ;-)

Fri, Mar 13, 2015 - 8:30am
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Very Rare Ancient Coins

Very Rare Ancient Coins Rediscovered In University Library

By Neils Christensen of Kitco News
Thursday March 12, 2015 10:54 AM

If you have ever needed proof that gold and silver has always been a store of value then you should take a class at the University of Buffalo.

On Wednesday, the university announced what they have dubbed “the discovery of the century” as a collection of 55 ancient Greek and Roman coins were unearthed from its library archives.

The rediscovery was made by Philip Kiernan, an assistant professor at UB. In an interview with Kitco News, Kiernan said the collection hasn’t been touched for decades. When he was first researching the existence of the coins, Kiernan said that he wasn’t expecting see an extensive collection maybe “one or two coins and some replicas.”

“I was so struck by the collection… we had coins from the most important Greek city states. The kind of coins you see in the text books,” he said. “They were never lost but they appear to have been forgotten about.”

According to the university this is the first time the coins will be extensively studied. The coins range in dates from the fifth century B.C. to the late first century A.D.

The collection contains Greek silver and gold coins and 12 gold coins of the first Roman emperors, from Julius Caesar to Domintian. ...

Non-Circulated Stores Of Wealth

What also sets this collection apart from others is its remarkable condition.

“These are not the coins that you would have spent in the marketplace. Based on the gold content and size of the coins these could present a store of wealth, several months of pay,” he said. “You would put your wealth in these coins and then stash them away because there were no banks.”

One of the collection’s significant Greek coins is a silver Tetradrachm dating between 450 and 400 B.C. Kiernan explained that the coin, which features an owl on its reverse was traded extensively throughout the Mediterranean and massed produced. It was the eras’ version of the modern-day Canadian silver maple leaf or the U.S. American eagle.

“The Tetradrachm was used as a known unit of silver,” he said. “It was regarded for its consistency and high quality of silver.”

...

The Lockwood Collection

The coins were first donated to the University in 1935 by Thomas B. Lockwood, who is believed to have bought those 10 years earlier.

...“Lockwood’s collection includes more than 3,000 books, medallions and additional coins from early America and England. Other notable items include a medallion of Napoleon Bonaparte and 36 British gold coins, including one of Queen Elizabeth,” the university said.....

https://www.kitco.com/news/2015-03-12/Very-Rare-Ancient-Coins-Rediscovered-in-University-Library.html

Fri, Mar 13, 2015 - 8:49am
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Lucky Aussie Prospector

Lucky Aussie Prospector Finds Massive 2kg Gold Nugget

Cecilia Jamasmie | March 9, 2015

Australian prospector Mick Brown, 42, still can’t believe his luck after he found a hunk of gold weighing 87 oz. (or more than 2kg) in central Victoria, near Wedderburn.

According to The Age, he named it the "fair dinkum nugget" because when people feel its weight they say "fair dinkum this is huge.”

While Brown chose to keep the place where he found the buried treasure as a secret, he disclosed he thought others had already searched in the same area....

https://www.mining.com/lucky-aussie-prospector-finds-massive-2kg-gold-nugget-57046/

Thu, Apr 16, 2015 - 7:01am
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Record Dive Rescues $50m Wartime Silver

Record Dive Rescues $50m Wartime Silver from Ocean Floor

15 April 2015

A British-led team has recovered a $50m (£34m; €47m) trove of silver coins that has lain on the seabed since the steamship carrying them from Bombay to England was sunk in 1942.

...The 100 tonnes of coins, recovered in the deepest salvage operation in history, belonged to HM Treasury.

The silver rupees had been called in by London to help fund the war effort.

But they never made it. The steamship's tall plume of smoke was spotted by a U-boat on 6 November 1942 and it was torpedoed.

....The ship and its cargo was presumed lost until 2011, when a team led by British salvage expert John Kingsford located an unnatural object among the ridges and canyons of their South Atlantic search area.

Under a contract with the UK government, underwater salvagers Deep Ocean Search (DOS) worked for several weeks searching a "jumbled up sea floor" twice the size of London, Mr Kingsford told the BBC.

...The object was indeed the City of Cairo, and the team recovered a "large percentage" of its £34 million treasure chest. "There was a lot a relief all round," Mr Kingsford said.

The coins have now been melted down in the UK and sold, with the undisclosed sum divided between the treasury - which technically owns the coins - and the salvagers, who take a percentage of the sale.

The salvage was completed in September 2013, but DOS has only now been given permission by the Ministry of Transport to announce it.

Fri, Apr 17, 2015 - 9:13am
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City of Cairo

Treasure Hunters Pull Silver Coins from WWII Shipwreck at Record Depth

By Mike Schuler On April 16, 2015

Deepwater salvage and recovery firm Deep Ocean Search says it has pulled “several tens of tons” of silver coins from a WWII shipwreck at a world record depth of 5,150 meters.

The bounty is estimated to be worth a whopping $50 million, according to reports.

The coins were found in the wreck of the SS City of Cairo, a mixed cargo and passenger ship that was sunk by a German U-boat as it sailed in the south Atlantic in 1942.

...

DOS began its search for the wreckage in 2011, and eventually found it broken in two pieces and covered in silt and mud approximately 1,000 miles from the nearest in the foothills of the mid-Atlantic ridge, DOS says.

Under contract with the UK Ministry of Transport, DOS said it recovered several “tens of tons of silver coins” from a depth of 5,150 meters – a world depth record, according to the company.

“Many items were seen on and around the wreck including the end section of the second torpedo, where the contra-rotating propellers could clearly be seen. Apart from the silver cargo this was the only item recovered from the site,” DOS said in a statement.

The wreck was last dived in 2013 but the company’s findings have only now been revealed.

https://gcaptain.com/silver-coins-worth-50-million-pulled-wwii-shipwreck...

Fri, Apr 17, 2015 - 9:15am
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Citation for article 2 posts up

Sat, May 2, 2015 - 3:08am
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Two clay pots filled with

Forester found a treasure of over 6 thousand silver coins

Two clay pots filled with more than 6 thousand silver coins, preliminarily dated to the sixteenth and seventeenth century, were discovered by a forester from Forestry Krzystkowice in the forest near the village of Guzów - told PAP the Provincial Conservator Barbara Bielinis-Kopeć.

The find was transferred to the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Odra in Świdnica (Lubuskie).

"This is the greatest discovery of this kind made in today’s province Lubuskie. After counting, it turned out that the pots contained 6 159 coins, including 5 370 smaller denarii and 787 larger Prague groschen" - told PAP Bielinis-Kopeć.

She added that not all coins were cleaned, so dating could change. For now, it was found that the oldest had been minted in 1516, and the newest - in 1612.

According to specialists, the coins are in relatively good condition, some only have traces of tarnish, others are stuck together in larger lumps of a few to dozen pieces.

"For now, they are easily separated, but only at the end of the conservation work we will see if we can separate all of them without damage" - said conservator.

Place of discovery of the coins has been thoroughly studied and the Archaeological Image of Poland card has been prepared - a documentation card of archaeological sites. It has been specified that the treasure was hidden by the old road connecting two small towns.

Director of the Archaeological Museum in Świdnica Włodzimierz Rebelski will apply to the provincial conservator to transfer the collection as a deposit to the museum in Świdnica.

"This will also be my decision. The museum in Świdnica is in fact a specialized institution in our area, which will deal with cataloguing the treasure" - Bielinis-Kopeć told PAP.

https://scienceinpoland.pap.pl/en/news/news,404755,forester-found-a-treasure-of-over-6-thousand-silver-coins.html

Sat, May 2, 2015 - 3:11am
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28 April, 2015 - 22:15

28 April, 2015 - 22:15 lizleafloor

Hidden hoard of more than 6,000 silver coins found in forest in Poland

A forest ranger in east central Poland stumbled upon the find of a lifetime this year—he discovered a hidden treasure of thousands of silver coins in a wooded area near the village of Guzów.

Two clay pots were spotted by forestry worker Bogusław Szwichtenberg by the side of a wooded road in April of this year. When he opened them a hoard of more than 6,000 silver coins was revealed. He turned the find over to the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Oder in Zielona Góra, where conservation experts are now attempting to restore the coins, reports the museum’s Facebook page.

According to Polish news site Science & Scholarship in Poland (PAP), the silver coins have been provisionally dated to the sixteenth and seventeenth century. They were recovered in fairly good condition, but were tarnished and stuck together in lumps.

https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/hidden-hoard-more-6000-silver-coins-found-forest-poland-002969

Tue, May 5, 2015 - 2:48am
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SS Central America Timeline

Wed, May 13, 2015 - 5:51am
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School in United Kingdom

School in United Kingdom Reveals Hoard of 300 Roman Coins

Pottery containing ancient coins discovered during construction project

By Jeff Starck , Coin World
Published : 05/12/15

A hoard of Roman coins was found April 23, buried in the grounds of The Ridgeway Primary School, in Reading, in Berkshire. The Reading Borough Council announced the find on May 11. The hoard of approximately 300 coins was discovered inside a pottery vessel during an archaeological exploration of the site before the start of the school’s planned expansion and building improvements, according to the announcement.

The coins were sent to a specialist to be cleaned and conserved and to ascertain their precise number, date and denomination. It is thought that the pot of coins was buried by a Roman citizen or farmer for safekeeping, possibly during a time of crisis or threat, the council's report said.

Investigations so far have also shown that probably a small Roman farm or hamlet was on the site of the school, and this was preceded by Late Bronze Age activity around 1000 to 800 B.C.

The pot, coins and any other artifacts found during the archaeological dig at the school belong to the landowner, Reading Borough Council, and fall under the requirements of the Treasure Act 1996, the council's report notes. The report notes that the council hopes the coins will join the collection at Reading Museum to “enhance our understanding of what life was like in the Borough during Roman times.”

...

Under the 1996 Treasure Act, anyone who finds a group of coins buried together, or any artifact that is suspected to be 300 or more years old and has a 10 percent gold or silver content, has a legal obligation to declare it to the local coroner within 14 days.

If the coins are declared treasure, the Treasure Valuation Committee would establish the coins’ full market value. The local museum, which has expressed an interest in acquiring the coins, would then have four months to raise the money to buy the coins. 

https://www.coinworld.com/news/school-in-united-kingdom-hiding-hoard-of-...

Sun, May 31, 2015 - 7:26pm
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Always problems in the metals markets....

4,000-Year-Old Ancient Babylonian Tablet Is Oldest Customer Service Complaint Ever Discovered

By Liz Leafloor | May 8, 2015

A clay tablet from ancient Babylon reveals that no matter where (or when) you go, good customer service can be hard find. So it was revealed by the irate copper merchant, Nanni, in 1750 B.C. The merchant’s aggravation is evident, spelled out in cuneiform on a clay tablet now displayed in The British Museum.

In what is said to be the oldest customer service complaint discovered, Babylonian copper merchant Nanni details at length his anger at a sour deal, and his dissatisfaction with the quality assurance and service of Ea-nasir.

Forbes reports, “The letter implies that Nanni had dispatched his personal assistants to Ea-nasir Fine Copper at least once looking for a refund, only to be rebuffed and sent home empty handed—and through a war zone!”

The translation lays out Nanni’s displeasure:

Tell Ea-nasir: Nanni sends the following message:
When you came, you said to me as follows : “I will give Gimil-Sin (when he comes) fine quality copper ingots.” You left then but you did not do what you promised me. You put ingots which were not good before my messenger (Sit-Sin) and said: “If you want to take them, take them; if you do not want to take them, go away!”


What do you take me for, that you treat somebody like me with such contempt? I have sent as messengers gentlemen like ourselves to collect the bag with my money (deposited with you) but you have treated me with contempt by sending them back to me empty-handed several times, and that through enemy territory. Is there anyone among the merchants who trade with Telmun who has treated me in this way? You alone treat my messenger with contempt! On account of that one (trifling) mina of silver which I owe(?) you, you feel free to speak in such a way, while I have given to the palace on your behalf 1,080 pounds of copper, and umi-abum has likewise given 1,080 pounds of copper, apart from what we both have had written on a sealed tablet to be kept in the temple of Samas.


How have you treated me for that copper? You have withheld my money bag from me in enemy territory; it is now up to you to restore (my money) to me in full.


Take cognizance that (from now on) I will not accept here any copper from you that is not of fine quality. I shall (from now on) select and take the ingots individually in my own yard, and I shall exercise against you my right of rejection because you have treated me with contempt.”

A cuniform tablet similar to this one on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art rails against poor customer service, a perennial problem. (Wikimedia Commons)

https://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1350628-4000-year-old-ancient-babylonia...

Sun, May 31, 2015 - 7:30pm
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Oldest Customer Service

Oldest Customer Service Complaint Discovered: A Lesson from Ancient Babylon

4/23/2015

"I’ve probably condensed what occurred over a year or more in the Middle East to a one-minute customer service interaction, but what I find fascinating is that the same things that upset customers today were eating at Nanni back in 1750 BC.

The product he received was unlike the product he was shown and promised. In other words, his expectations were not met. Ea-nasir oversold his copper. This continues to happen and it demonstrates that properly portraying your product or service is fundamental to excellent customer service.

Nanni sought resolution to his problem several times. Had Ea-nasir Fine Copper Inc. set things right the first time, the British Museum wouldn’t have this interesting artifact to display. The relationship between this buyer and seller would have been quickly restored.

The letter ends with Nanni saying that from this point forward he would carefully inspect every copper ingot he received and ship back any that didn’t meet his approval. It is clear that their relationship has been poisoned. Trust and confidence have deteriorated to the point that Nanni will certainly have his eyes open for a new supplier."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/shephyken/2015/04/23/oldest-customer-servic...

Thu, Jun 4, 2015 - 7:49am
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Barbarous relic

Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!

Bright and yellow, hard and cold;

Molten, graven, hammered and rolled;

Heavy to get and light to hold;

Hoarded, bartered, bought, and sold;

Stolen, borrowed, squandered, doled; 

Spurned by the young, but hugged by the old

To the very verge of the churchyard mould;

Price of many a crime untold!

Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold!

Good or bad a thousand fold! 

- Thomas Hood, part of a series of verses, “Rhymes of the Times, and Reason for the Season,” printed in the New Monthly Magazine and Humorist published in London in 1841. 

https://www.coinworld.com/insights/mixed-messages-sent-for-the-word-gold...

Thu, Jun 25, 2015 - 6:24am
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Discovery of Metal Vessels

Discovery of Metal Vessels "Will Change the Story About Chachapoyas"

June 23, 2015

Hillary Ojeda

Metals had never been found in Chachapoyas before the finding of these two vessels.

They might not be as sacred as the Holy Grail, but two metal vessels recently discovered in Chachapoyas are turning heads in regards to understanding the region’s ancient history.

“The Finding of these vessels will change the story about Chachapoyas” the Decentralized Department of Culture of the Amazonas head, Jose Santos Trauco Ramos, told El Comercio.

The discovery of two silver vessels in the Soloco Purunllacta in Chachapoyas of the Amazonas department are unlike anything the archaeological team has found in its history. Investigations until this date had never discussed the peoples of Chachapoyas involved in metalworks, reports El Comercio.

The two vessels have recently finished a 60 restoration period at the conservation area of the Museo Arqueologico Nacional Bruning of Lambayeque. Trauco says it is too early to be sure, but there is a possibility that the vessels with Inca influence, could have been offerings.

The vessels weigh 152 grams each, 112 millimeters high and 117 millimeters in diameter. They will be part of an exhibition on the grounds of what will soon be the Museum of Chachapoyas.

Chachapoyas is one of Peru’s most sacred archaeological zones. However, its isolation and difficult to reach location, make it less popular and less visited. Kuelap is one of the most impressive sites, located 3,000 meters above sea level, the site is a must when in Chachapoyas.

https://www.peruthisweek.com/news-discovery-of-metal-vessels-will-change...

Thu, Jul 16, 2015 - 5:41am
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2,000 Bronze Age Gold Spirals

2,000 Bronze Age Gold Spirals Found in Denmark

An unprecedented cache 2,000 gold spirals from the Bronze Age has been discovered in a field near the town of Boeslunde on the Danish island of Zealand. Bronze Age spirals have been found before — gold ones in the Syke hoard in Germany, for example, and bronze ones in Poland — but these are the first to be discovered in Denmark.

The spirals are made of very thin, very pure, flat gold thread just 0.1 millimeter thick and up to three centimeters (1.18 inches) long. Some of the spirals are complete at up to three centimeters long; some are in small fragments. All totalled, the gold weight of the spirals is between 200 and 300 grams (7-10 ounces). Two gilded fibulae found with the spirals date the find to 900-700 B.C.

In 2013, metal detectorists Christian Albertsen and his uncle Hans Henrik Hansen found four gold bangles, so-called oath rings, in the same Boeslunde field. Six other gold oath rings had been unearthed in the field earlier (each individually at different times, not as part of a hoard) and in the 1800s local farmers found a group of six elaborately decorated gold bowls, two of which have incredibly thin gold wire wound around elongated handles crafted to look like stylized dragons. The total weight of the 10 oath rings found in Boeslunde is 3.5 kilos (7.7 pounds). The set of bowls weighs another kilo (2.2 pounds). That makes Boeslunde the richest gold field of the Northern European Bronze Age, and there may well be more to find.

It was the oath ring discovery that spurred the discovery of the spirals. After the bangles were found, the West Zealand Museum undertook an excavation of the field. It was a small search area — only a few square meters of soil were dug up — and archaeologists found a small group of three or four spiral fragments bundled together. Christian Albertsen, the finder of the oath rings who was assisting in the dig, brought one of the spirals to a jeweler. He confirmed that it was made of gold, not brass, so the Zealand Museum decided to dig again in the same spot, this time enlisting the aid of experts from the National Museum of Denmark.

During this second excavation archaeologists made the bulk of the find: a large pile of gold coils. Underneath and around the pile were shards of a grey-black material. Analysis in the National Museum’s lab identified these black chunks as birch bark tar, a substance used by prehistoric peoples, including the Neanderthals, as an all-purpose adhesive starting 80,000 years ago. ... The tar chunks found under the spirals bore the imprint of a flat wooden surface on one side of the flakes and the imprint of animal skin on the other, which indicates the tar was used to glue a leather lining into a wooden box. Archaeologists think the spirals were placed inside a jewelry box or dress chest before being buried in the Boeslunde field.

It’s not clear how the coils were used or for what purpose....

https://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/37420

Thu, Jul 16, 2015 - 5:46am
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From the "Spirals" Comment

From the "Spirals" Comment Section

Comment by Ambrosius

2015-07-11 08:08:04

I wonder if these may not have been an ancient embroiderers stock in trade. Very similar metal spirals are used today in ‘gold work’ or ‘bullion embroidery’. Seen mostly in ecclesiastical, ceremonial and haute couture embroideries.

They are known as ‘Purls’ in the embroidery trade, cut to the required size, the needle passes through the centre and they are sewn down like a bead in intricate designs and patterns

...

It was also common for the gold to be recycled from old garments, cut off, collected and reused on other embroideries, in deed many pieces of embroidery were destroyed for their gold content. Perhaps as these pieces are so small they were ‘rescued’ and stored for re-use.

Fri, Jul 17, 2015 - 10:06am
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Metal Detectorist Discovers

Metal Detectorist Discovers Nazi-era Gold Coin Hoard

217 gold coins, worth $48,948 U.S., on display in Germany

A metal detectorist in northern Germany discovered the find of a lifetime last October.

Amateur archaeologist Florian Bautsch found 217 gold coins in a hoard that had been buried beneath the roots of a tree that later was removed. The tree's removal had somewhat scattered the coins. 

Bautsch, 31, found one coin, then nine more, before contacting archaeologists to remove the rest. The hoard recovery process took two weeks, according to an English-language report from TheLocal.de, Germany’s news in English.

The coins had been buried for some 70 years when Bautsch located them. Though scattered around the find area, the coins had once been in two pouches, according to Thelocal.de. 

A German-language news story from LZplay.de reported that the hoard is worth €45,000 (about $48,948 U.S.) 

...

The hoard is the largest gold find in the town of Lüneburg in Lower Saxony, a state in northwestern Germany near Hamburg.

According to TheLocal.de, 128 of the coins are from Belgium, 74 from France and 12 from Italy. The remaining three coins were from Austria-Hungary.

Each of the coins weighs 6.45 grams and measures 21 millimeters in diameter, according to TheLocal.de, suggesting they are the popular 20-franc coins.

Most of the coins were minted between 1850 and 1910, with the oldest dating to 1831, it reported. The hoard was likely buried during or soon after World War II but no later than 1950, based on forensic examination of pasteboard packaging material also found with the coins, TheLocal.de reported. 

...

Lüneburg archaeologist Edgar Ring said that the coins appear to have belonged to the national Nazi bank, because that bank's emblem, an imperial eagle and swastika, is on two aluminum seals found with the coins. The seals would have been attached to the now-disintegrated pouches that held the coins. 

That suggests the coins may have been stolen, Ring said. 

Archaeologists are not disclosing the exact location of the find to protect it from illegal hunting. 

Because the coins were in bank bags, archaeologists note that state officials may have taken the coins from an individual or individuals to fund the war machine. Or, the coins may have been part of a robbery or war crime, both of which have no statute of limitation.

https://www.coinworld.com/news/metal-detectorist-discovers-nazi-era-gold...

Sat, Jul 18, 2015 - 1:44am
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So Kelley is still wanted?

What about Big Joe and Crapgame?

Tue, Jul 21, 2015 - 9:00am
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Germany hoard pictures

"today we learned that hoard was found at site of a 50-year-old tree, where a different tree was years ago. "

"It took archaeologists two weeks to recover 207 gold coins, adding them to the 10 found by the metal detectorist. "

https://www.coinworld.com/news/images-of-gold-coin-hoard-in-germany-released-by-museum.html

Tue, Jul 28, 2015 - 1:39pm
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300-Year-Old Treasure From

300-Year-Old Treasure From Famous Shipwreck Found in Florida Waters

CBS News July 27, 2015

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- A historic shipwreck salvage operation says it has recovered more than a $1 million worth of gold artifacts, including a rare coin destined for the King of Spain, from shallow waters off Ft. Pierce in Florida.

Queens Jewels, LLC, owns the exclusive salvage rights to the 1715 Treasure Fleet. The Fleet sank along Florida's Treasure Coast on July 31, 1715 almost exactly 300 years ago.

According to the company, these artifacts were discovered in waters about 15 feet deep located approximately 30 miles north of West Palm Beach. They say they recovered 51 gold coins and 40 feet of ornate gold chain. The company says that the coins vary in denomination and include: 17 Eight Escudos, 22 Two Escudos and 12 One escudos.

The 1715 Fleet is considered one of the most significant maritime tragedies in history. Eleven galleons were filled with treasures from the New World and returning to Spain, but would never make it.

The ships departed Havana, Cuba on July 24 and were shipwrecked in a hurricane on July 31, 1715 on what is now know as Florida's Treasure Coast, according to the company.

Queens Jewels acquired the United States Admiralty Custodianship to the fleet from the heirs of world-renowned treasure hunter, Mel Fisher. Together with sub-contractors such as the Schmitt family, the company says it believes it is closing in on treasure estimated to be worth $400 million.

"These finds are important not just for their monetary value, but their historical importance," said Brent Brisben, Owner of 1715 Fleet-Queen's Jewels, LLC. "One of our key goals is to help learn from and preserve history, and this week's finds draw us closer to those truths."

(There is a short video of ocean floor recovery at the link)

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/300-year-old-treasure-recovered-from-florida-waters-artifacts-million/

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