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Thursday, 11 February 2016 11:00
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 February 2016 11:02

A medieval 20 meter long and 50 ton heavy cargo ship was slowly, but steadily lifted out of the IJssel near Kampen on Wednesday. The ship’s emergence from the water was met with loud applause from about a thousand spectators who came to watch the operation. Thousands more followed the progress via livestream, Dutch newspaper AD reports. 

The operation to lift the wreck out of the water started around 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday. The ship was lifted in its entirety with a new technique involving hanging it in a basket of bonds and joists, according to the newspaper. 

Once above the water, the ship – which is still intact for the most part – was placed on a pontoon. A special frame is being built around the ship, after which it will be transported to Lelystad. 

The shipwreck was discovered in the summer of 2011. It is believed that the ship was sunk deliberately some 600 years ago to increase the water level in an adjacent fairway. 

A spokesperson for the Rijkswaterstaat called it an historical event. “This is an important moment in maritime history”, the spokesperson said to the newspaper. Archaeologists and historians have high expectations on what can be learned from this mostly intact medieval ship.



Courtesy: NL Times

Searching for the lost wrecks of the Dry Tortugas Email

Monday, 25 January 2016 13:46
Last Updated on Monday, 25 January 2016 13:48

If the ocean had highways, the intersection at the Dry Tortugas and the Florida Straits might well have ranked among the planet’s most dangerous, at least in ye olde times.

Ships threading its treacherous reefs wrecked for centuries, sometimes at a rate of once a week, leaving behind an untold fortune in booty. Key West was built on a good chunk of those spoils. And modern-day treasure hunters still scour the region in search of loot. Which is why the National Park Service, guardian of a vast swath of potentially wreck-laden waters in Dry Tortugas National Park, has for the first time started surveying the deep waters within its boundaries.Brett Seymour National Park Service 

While no one knows for sure what remains on the sea floor, it could be bountiful: since 1988, federal law has largely blocked treasure hunters armed with new technology that one marine archaeologist says has allowed any “half-wit” to strike gold.

“Can you imagine what would have happened if 120 years ago every archaeological site in Egypt had been dug up?” said Filipe Castro, a professor of nautical archeology and director of the Ship Reconstruction Laboratory at Texas A&M. “Anybody can get a magnetometer and side-scanner. These people are finding shipwrecks nonstop and sacking them and destroying them.”

Read more: Searching for the lost wrecks of the Dry Tortugas

Ancient coins found at underwater basilica in Bursa Email

Monday, 25 January 2016 13:28
Last Updated on Monday, 25 January 2016 13:29

Archaeological works are still continuing in the ancient Roman-era basilica discovered at the beginning of 2015 under Lake İznik in Turkey’s northwestern province of Bursa. Forty bronze coins have been found recently in the basilica.

Embossments on the coins have almost completely faded over time but scientific work will reveal their era and the civilization they date back to, according to archaeologists.

Experts say the coins might date back to anytime between the 3rd and 16th centuries A.D. 

The underwater works are being carried out by archaeologists from the Uludağ University Archaeology Department, with the Bursa Metropolitan Municipality aiming to transform the basilica into a touristic attraction. 

The Roman-era basilica, which lies in up to 2 meters of water, was discovered while the area was being photographed from the air in order to make an inventory of historical and cultural artifacts. Archaeologists, historians and art historians believe the structure collapsed during an earthquake in the region in 740 A.D.


Courtesy Doğan News Agency


Archaeologists remove the first pieces of the White City in Honduras Email

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 13:12
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 January 2016 13:15

It is a vessel decorated with the head of a vulture and an artisan with jaguar heads and man, which were presented by the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, in the area of ​​El Aguacate.


Tegucigalpa/ ACAN-EFE

A group Archaeologists extracted for scientific purposes the first two parts of the White City, in the Honduran Mosquitia, which holds the remains of an ancient and unknown civilization.

It is a vessel decorated with the head of a vulture and an artisan with jaguar heads and man, were presented Tuesday by the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, in the area of ​​El Aguacate, at the airport in the eastern department of Olancho.

The president accompanied equipment Archaeologists of the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History (IHAH), National Geographic and the University of Colorado (USA), who extracted two of the more than 60 pieces identified during a visit in 2015 to Caha Kamasa, White City in Miskito dialect.

Read more: Archaeologists remove the first pieces of the White City in Honduras

Police Raid Recovers Cash and Artifacts Email

Sunday, 20 December 2015 15:36
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 December 2015 15:42

Several archaeological pieces were located in a building located in Colonia Villa Lobos (National Civil Police)

GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA: Elements of the PNC (Civil National Police), conducted a raid on two homes Saturday in Villa Nueva about 10 Klicks south of the city.

The investigation and subsequent raid were conducted in order to dismantle a gang that was laundering money from the proceeds of various crimes.

The investigation into the case was carried out for over a month, and the two houses were used by members of the gang.

Read more: Police Raid Recovers Cash and Artifacts

Penny from 1796 found during Colonial Williamsburg dig Email

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 11:28
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 December 2015 11:31

A 1796 Pence was found during the excavation of a site near
Wetherburn Tavern on DoG Street in Colonial Williamsburg. (Fred Blystone /
Colonial Williamsburg)

Archaeologist Mark Kostro stood in the center of an excavation site next to Wetherburn Tavern Friday morning, talking to a group of Colonial Williamsburg tourists about the work being done there.

"What are these holes?" a New York woman asked Kostro, pointing at a trio of deep, round circles etched deep into the ground of the waist-high site.

The holes were from 20th century light posts. The archeologist described the excavation site as a mix of the past and recent present; stacks of bricks that held up a 17th century porch were a step away from items like electrical wiring and pipes for water and oil heating.

During the dig, archaeologists recovered a penny from 1796 that's in such good condition that you can make out the flowing hair and face of a woman and the word "Liberty," and "1796," on its face. Coins like it can be worth anywhere from $2,000 to $17,000 on eBay and other coin collector websites.

Read more: Penny from 1796 found during Colonial Williamsburg dig

Archaeological Scuba Diving Park Slated for Euboean Gulf Email

Sunday, 13 December 2015 22:04
Last Updated on Sunday, 13 December 2015 22:42

Hellenistic shipwreck at Styra, Euboea  [Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture]

Attica is to create a unique 'archaeological' scuba park featuring 26 well-preserved underwater shipwrecks open to visitors in the Gulf of Evia, the Greek Ministry of Culture has announced.


According to the announcement, the high specification diving park will act as an "underwater museum" and will have six visit able sites in the Styra island group, the Kavalliani - Almyropotamos Cove area, the Petalioi islands, Akio Island and Portolafia in Evia, Makronisos and the Lavreo area.

The project is expected to help boost the economy and local communities, the development of tourism and to promote the area's unique underwater monuments, as well as creating new jobs," the announcement said.

Read more: Archaeological Scuba Diving Park Slated for Euboean Gulf

Shipwreck hunter says province killed salvage industry, heritage research Email

Friday, 06 November 2015 08:17
Last Updated on Friday, 06 November 2015 13:39

Terry Dwyer, a heavy equipment salesman and part-time diver who lives in the Eastern Shore community of Spanish Ship Bay, says in a new book that the province made a ‘colossal mistake’ five years ago when it repealed the Treasure Trove Act. (Contributed)


NOVA SCOTIA: Heavy equipment salesman and part-time diver Terry Dwyer says in a new book the province made a “colossal mistake” when it repealed the Treasure Trove Act five years ago, effectively killing the shipwreck salvage industry and cutting off any new research into Nova Scotia’s undersea heritage.

Dwyer’s book — called Wreck Hunter 2: The Adventure Continues — comes out Saturday and is part adventure tale, part technical manual and part political polemic on the government’s decision.

“The political part is a necessary evil, because there’s so much misinformation out there, and it’s a question that there’s no short answer for,” he said Thursday in an interview from his home in Spanish Ship Bay on the Eastern Shore.

“I get asked about it a lot every time there’s a shipwreck found, but you can’t just answer it in a sentence. That’s why I put that chapter in.”

Until 2010, divers were able to apply for a treasure trove licence from the province, which would allow them to salvage artifacts and other items from shipwrecks, Dwyer explains in the book.

While divers were allowed to keep 90 per cent of the treasure they found, they had to hand over all artifacts to the province first, leaving mostly coins that could be kept, making the adventure less lucrative than many people believe, he wrote.

Read more: Shipwreck hunter says province killed salvage industry, heritage research

Ship graveyard piled with Ancient Greek, Roman wrecks found in Aegean Email

Thursday, 29 October 2015 15:33
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 October 2015 15:38

Is this the Bermuda Triangle of the ancient world? Or the home of the mythical, alluring Sirens? Archaeologists have discovered 22 shipwrecks, some as old as 2500 years, piled up among a group of tiny islands in the Aegean.

Magical or mundane, the carnage found in an area of just 44 square kilometres among 13 small islands in the eastern Aegean represents an extraordinary window into the past.

Such carnage brings to life the ancient myth of the Sirens — alluring but dangerous spirits who took on the guise of beautiful young women, seducing sailors onto treacherous rocks with their songs.

Not even the Ancient Greek’s greatest hero — Odysseus — was able to resist their enticing voices.

But, as always, there is a more practical explanation.

While one island has the ominous name of “Man Eater”, the cluster of sparsely populated outcrops offered an endless series of bays — a rare safe anchorage for ancient mariners and their unwieldy, heavily laden vessels. Particularly in rough weather.

“This is a wonderful discovery,” says Flinders University maritime archeologist Dr Wendy van Duivenvoorde. “Normally you find a shipwreck here and there, from different periods — but finding 22 that are quite close in space will give a beautiful cross section of history.”

Read more: Ship graveyard piled with Ancient Greek, Roman wrecks found in Aegean

Spain returns pre-Columbian artifacts Email

Thursday, 29 October 2015 15:03
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 October 2015 15:03

Spain returns to Ecuador Wednesday 49 pre-Columbian artifacts recovered by police in 2003 following an investigation into money laundering during a ceremony at the Museum of America in Madrid, where they had remained guarded.

The works are part of a collection of 885 pieces that were taken over from a Colombian marriage in 2003 as a result of the operation called Florence, where a Colombian family clan, based in Spain, dedicated to drug trafficking and money laundering was dismantled.

A bleaching methods used by the organization was the purchase of works of art, such as those included in the collection seized more than a decade ago, which had been bought in the 1990s in different stores purchase and sale of art and exported Colombia illegally.

The expert studies on the collection of works determined that they had "an exceptional value, both culturally and economically to be kept in an almost perfect state and represent almost all the pre-Columbian cultures," according to a statement from the Spanish police.

The majority of artifacts were returned Wednesday to Ecuador, and are made of ceramic, covering virtually the entire time range of the cultures of Ecuador and mainly represent shamans, characters with ceremonial robes and women praying. "It was imperative for our country to recover these pieces "to rescue" our historic identity and well fight the illegal trafficking of cultural heritage," said Ecuador's ambassador in Madrid, Miguel Calahorrano, at the ceremony held in Museum of America, the presence of the director general of the Spanish police, Ignacio Cosidó.

Before the delivery of these 49 works, Spain returned last year about 700 pieces and Colombia were identified among the 885 works seized five pieces from Panama, while the rest were considered fakes.

Courtesy: Diario Uno