The value of Joan Howard's collection of artifacts has appreciated beyond $1m. Photo: 7 News
By Joseph Catanzaro
Deep beneath the badlands of Palestine, alone in a darkened tomb, Joan Howard crawled forward on her stomach in search of lost treasures.
It was the late 1960s, a turbulent time in the Middle East, but the thrill of discovery drove Mrs. Howard deeper into the grave.
Sluggish scorpions scattered and clacked amid the bones of the ancient dead as she scooped artefacts and the detritus of ages into a bucket.
Only when it was full did she inch backwards. Ten meters above her, at the top of a vertical shaft hewn out of the desert bedrock, a colleague began to winch her swaying bucket of artefacts to the surface.
Five decades and thousands of kilometers away from that moment, sitting in the tastefully decorated surrounds of her riverside apartment in Perth this week, Mrs. Howard smiles and hefts a mummy mask pulled from the sucking sands of Egypt on one of her many expeditions.
525 years ago, Christopher Columbus first came to the continent that would later be called America aboard three ships: Santa Maria, La Niña and Pinta. In spite of being so important for the history of the humanity, there are no remains of its existence in any museum.
For centuries, archaeologists and treasure hunters have tried to find them without success. Why?
Poor conservation conditions
The travel notes of the Genoese Admiral note that the most important vessel - the Santa Maria - ran aground during its first voyage on the coast of what is now Haiti and Columbus ordered to use its wood to build Fort Christmas, the first Spanish population in the New Continent.
Three years ago, the American marine explorer Barry Clifford believed he had found his remains, but UNESCO denied this information when he concluded that they were from a later period.
What would happen if Columbus had not come to America? "Europe would be plunged into obscurantism"
The remains of a 500-year-old sailing vessel thought to be the wreck of the French warship “La Trinite” have been found off the Atlantic coast of Florida somewhere in the vicinity of Cape Canaveral.
The wreck, its exact location being withheld from the public to protect the site, may have been the flagship of a French colonization fleet sent by King Charles IX in the middle of the sixteenth century to establish a Protestant colony in the southeastern US. The French navigator who led the fleet, Jean Ribault, commanded the 32-gun flagship, only to lose the vessel and three additional galleons during a hurricane in 1565.
Archaeologists have been on the hunt for the ship for a number of years, according to the Associated Foreign Press. If the wreck discovered off the coast does happen to be “La Trinite”, the archaeological and historical implications are high, according to John de Bry, the director of the nonprofit Center for Historical Archaeology. Such a find would be “unparalleled,” he added.
Panama is, for now, the only Latin American country really committed to conservation of underwater cultural heritage and the fight against treasure hunters, Efe said one of the global leaders of the industry, the Spanish archaeologist Ivan Negueruela.
Besides being one of the first countries to ratify the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 2001 and in operation since 2008, Panama is the only country in the region that is trying to form a specialized unit that can deal with the pirates of the century.
"Hopefully Panama serve as oil stain and other countries in the region imitate their model," said Negueruela, which runs for more than a decade the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology (Arqua), located in the Spanish city Cartagena (southeast).
In March 2015, Panama warned Spain of the appearance ten years ago a Spanish galleon sunk near the archipelago of Las Perlas on the Pacific and subsequent pillaging by an American company, with the connivance of the Panamanian administration then.
"At the current government he did not like what was done then. By dividing the treasure, this American company was very villainous with Panamanians and gave them very little material and in very bad condition. Most were coins semi destroyed without any commercial value, "said the expert.
International Meeting on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage Sites, 22-23 September, Paris
An International Meeting on Underwater Cultural Heritage Sites Protection will be held on 22 and 23 September 2016 at UNESCO Headquarters (22nd September in Room II and 23rd in Room IX, Fontenoy building) in support of implementing the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.
It will focus on the issue of quantification and identification of threats to underwater cultural heritage especially in what regards pillage and commercial exploitation and on preventive measures to be taken. International experts will present their experiences, followed by a round table which will allow the exchange of views regarding the effectiveness of the means used.
The meeting will bring together representatives of the States Parties to the UNESCO 2001 Convention and other States, experts representing different national authorities (Culture and Foreign Ministries, Navy, Customs, Coastguards, Police, Museums etc.) and international organizations (UNESCO, INTERPOL, Europol, etc.).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —The Grolier Codex, an ancient document that is among the rarest books in the world, has been regarded with skepticism since it was reportedly unearthed by looters from a cave in Chiapas, Mexico, in the 1960s.
But a meticulous new study of the codex has yielded a startling conclusion: The codex is both genuine and likely the most ancient of all surviving manuscripts from ancient America.
Stephen Houston, the Dupee Family Professor of Social Science and co-director of the Program in Early Cultures at Brown University, worked with Michael Coe, professor emeritus of archeology and anthropology at Yale and leader of the research team, along with Mary Miller of Yale and Karl Taube of the University of California-Riverside. They reviewed “all known research on the manuscript,” analyzing it “without regard to the politics, academic and otherwise, that have enveloped the Grolier,” the team wrote in its study “The Fourth Maya Codex.”
The paper, published in the journal Maya Archaeology, fills a special section of the publication and includes a lavish facsimile of the codex.
The study, Houston said, “is a confirmation that the manuscript, counter to some claims, is quite real. The manuscript was sitting unremarked in a basement of the National Museum in Mexico City, and its history is cloaked in great drama. It was found in a cave in Mexico, and a wealthy Mexican collector, Josué Sáenz, had sent it abroad before its eventual return to the Mexican authorities.”
Harriet Alexander, New York
A Nazi submarine which sank off the coast of North Carolina 72 years ago has been pictured for the first time, showing how the vessel has remained as a remarkably intact tomb for the 45 sailors on-board.
The U-boat, U-576, had been dispatched to the American coast to hunt Allied cargo ships.
Captained by Hans-Dieter Heinicke, it had been damaged during its months of activity in the Atlantic. And the submarine was limping home to Germany when, on July 15, 1942, it spotted a convoy of 24 ships.
Among them was the Bluefields, a merchant tanker flying the Nicaraguan flag, and headed from Virginia to Florida.
Heinicke, 29, had managed to sink three ships during his four prior patrols. One of his victims, the armed British freighter Empire Spring, had sunk off Nova Scotia, killing all 55 mariners aboard.
Another, the Norwegian vessel Taborfjell, sank off Cape Cod so fast that only three of its 20-man crew survived.
In the case of the American freighter Pipestone County, torpedoed off Cape Henry, Virginia, in April 1942, Heinicke surfaced near the lifeboats and gave the survivors provisions. He apologized for sinking their ship, and no one was killed.
A total of 24 items had hidden subject captured in a boat Sunday in the community of Palacios, Gracias a Dios
The captured were identified as Fredy Arias Nole Cerna, Cerna Jeffrey Benjamin Echeverria Maradiaga and Denis Eli Reyes , all of legal age and residents in Columbus, North Coast, the Interagency Security Force (Fusina) reported.
The authorities detailed that individuals were seized with 24 stolen artifacts, allegedly taken from White City, a pre - Columbian site hidden in the jungles of Honduras La Mosquitia.
The subjects wore objects hidden in clothing and were transported in a boat. They were arrested in Palacios community in the municipality of Juan Francisco Bulnes, Gracias a Dios.
In addition to these samples, Fusina also seized material of deforestation and endangered birds.
Authorities said those captured were referred to the prosecutor of Puerto Lempira for processing.
SAN PEDRO SULA, HONDURAS: In the courts of San Pedro Sula Tuesday took place the initial hearing against a foreigner whom was arrested with about $63,000 in her wallet. Susan Lee Hendrickon was arrested in the last hours in the airport Ramón Villeda Morales of that city in northern Honduras. During the initial hearing transpired that the person detained was renowned for the discovery of tyrannosaurus Rex.
Susan Hendrickson, a Dutch national, was arrested and processed by the Directorate for the Fight against Drug Trafficking (DLCN), suspected of laundering drug money, by being in possession of $63,000 that she failed report to the immigration authorities.
René Altamirano, the defense attorney for the French citizen, born in the United States 66 years ago, said that the prosecution committed a grave error by detaining his client since she is renowned worldwide. The attorney related that Hendrickson took the money in a briefcase that was going to buy a property to Belize. She was sent to San Pedro Sula prison facility.
Susan Hendrickson has been living on the island of Guanaja for many years, and is known for her selfless work and support the Honduran island community.
Who is Susan Lee Hendrickson?
She was born on December 2, 1949 and is an American Paleontologist, and Marine Archaeologist. Hendrickson is best known for her discovery of the remains of a Tyrannosaurus Rex in South Dakota on 12 August 1990. Their discovery was the largest T. Rex specimen and is one of the most complete skeletons. This skeleton is now known as "Sue" in honor of her discovery. It is on display at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois. She has also found other important fossils and artifacts from around the world.
Courtesy: El Heraldo
MEXICO, MERIDA (Notimex) .- Studies optical microscopy, fluorescence spectrometry and X-ray diffraction applied to various rescued offerings cenote at Chichen Itza confirmed that mostly came from what is now Panama, Costa Rica and Peru.
Jose Luis Ruvalcaba Sil, researcher Institute of Physics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), said that these results prove the religious significance of the site and the existence of extensive exchange networks.
The specialist explained that along with the University of California, Berkeley, the Institute of Anthropological Research of UNAM and School Conservation, Restoration and Museology INAH analyzed various parts obtained from Chichén Itzá to know its composition, technology and determine its origin.
- 600-YEAR-OLD SHIPWRECK RECOVERED INTACT FROM DUTCH RIVER
- Searching for the lost wrecks of the Dry Tortugas
- Ancient coins found at underwater basilica in Bursa
- Archaeologists remove the first pieces of the White City in Honduras
- Police Raid Recovers Cash and Artifacts
- Penny from 1796 found during Colonial Williamsburg dig
- Archaeological Scuba Diving Park Slated for Euboean Gulf
- Shipwreck hunter says province killed salvage industry, heritage research