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Michigan Issues Dig Permit That Could Uncover The Great Lakes' Oldest Shipwreck Email

Archaeological
Monday, 03 June 2013 11:51

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">By Linda Stephan

The State of Michigan has issued a permit for a major archeological dig in Lake Michigan. It could uncover the oldest shipwreck in the Great Lakes.

Underwater explorers have been given the go-ahead to dig up bottomlands off the coast of the Garden Peninsula near Green Bay. They’re in search of the French fur trading ship Le Griffon, which went down in 1679.

The dig has been a thirty-year obsession for members of Great Lakes Exploration, a team out of Dayton, Ohio. After years of diving and exploring this site using remote sensing equipment, they plan to reveal wreckage on an excursion in mid-June.

The state permit for the dig this summer comes after 20 years of legal wrangling between the explorers, the State of Michigan, and even involving the French government, which owns Le Griffon. It was sailed by the famous explorer Robert de La Salle.

Courtesy; Interlochen Public Radio

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Utah Road Project Uncovers Ancient Ruins Email

Archaeological
Saturday, 01 June 2013 15:00

Pit-House

by Sarah Stephenson.

ST. GEORGE, UTAH - The Southern Utah Parkway is a 33-mile project that will eventually become an eastern belt route for Washington County. Eight miles are complete from I-15 to the new St. George Airport. The third segment of the parkway is currently under construction at Washington Dam Road, where more than 15 archaeological sites have been found.

Crews have discovered prehistoric Native American ruins, one of which has been named one of the oldest sites investigated in Southwestern Utah. After significant research, scientists have discovered that the area has had continuous human habitation for up to 10,000 years.

UDOT has worked closely with local Native American tribes throughout the project. The Shivwits tribe, a native Utah tribe, was invited to the archaeological sites to search the ruins. They were also highly involved in the decision-making process regarding the preservation of the many ruins found.

Arrowheads, pottery, pit-houses and even prehistoric ruins including dinosaur fossils have been discovered throughout the project site and have been dated as far back as 400 B.C. During construction, 200-million-year-old fossils were also found, including the teeth from nine species, three of which could be new species. These were archived for future data and research.

Furthermore, UDOT has worked to protect threatened and endangered species throughout the project’s construction.

Overall the construction has gone fairly smoothly and the experiences during the archaeological findings have been incredibly valuable to UDOT as a whole. Dana Meier, project manager for UDOT, said, “We are an organization that learns,” which is what UDOT will continue to do throughout this project.

The project has received considerable public support because it allows for the future growth and expansion of St. George and its surrounding areas. Construction continues this spring and summer to extend the new highway another eight miles.

Photos were taken by Bighorn Archaeological Consultants, and Eric Hansen.

Courtesy; Utah DOT

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History underfoot with metal detectors Email

Treasure
Friday, 31 May 2013 12:00

 

swindonUK - SHOW a metal detectorist someone who thinks history’s dull and they’ll show you someone who’s never held pieces of it in their hands.

It’s all very well reading about Romans or Saxons or the Civil War, but for a detectorist there’s nothing to beat, say, unearthing a coin and knowing that the last person to hold it was the Roman who lost it, and that he probably swore in Latin when he got to the tavern or the bath house and reached into his toga for some cash.

The same goes for uncovering a brooch last worn some time before the birth of Christ, or a musket ball flattened as it struck bone on its way through some unfortunate Cavalier or Roundhead.

Next month, members of Swin-don’s 40-strong Wyvern Historical and Detecting Society will explore sites in Aldbourne which were home to the American 110st Airborne as they prepared for the Normandy landings.

The society was invited by local historian Terry Gilligan to go in and search for artifacts of the ‘Band of Brothers’ and their comrades ahead of planned alterations to a local sports field.

Read more: History underfoot with metal detectors

Archaeologist arrested after artifacts spotted on eBay Email

Archaeological
Thursday, 30 May 2013 12:04

UNITED KINGDOM - An archaeologist who stole three 17th-century vases discovered during the development of SouthGate shopping centre in Bath was caught out four years later after trying to sell the items on eBay.

James Vessey, 35, was employed by the Museum of London Archaeology during an excavation in 2008.

The team uncovered three Bellarmine vessels dating back to between 1650 and 1700, which were traditionally used to protect against witchcraft, but the items disappeared before they could be delivered to the museum for analysis.

They resurfaced last year when another archaeologist spotted one of the vases for sale on eBay and contacted the museum's project officer Bruno Barber.

Police then executed a warrant at Vessey's narrowboat home in Oxfordshire.

Bath Magistrates Court was told that Vessey, who admitted theft, had a history of stealing historical artefacts from archaeological digs which he was working on, and in 2001 had been jailed for 15 months.

Andrea Edwards, prosecuting, read a statement from Mr Barber outlining the impact of the theft of the Bellarmine vessels. He said not only had the crime cast suspicion over other archaeologists, but had led to the loss of potentially significant historical evidence.

The court heard Vessey was no longer working as an archaeologist and had been dealing with the illness and death of both his parents at the points in his life when he had committed his crimes.

He was given a four-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 270 hours of unpaid community work, as well as to compensate the man who had bought the vase from him on eBay.

 

Courtesy; The Bath Chronicle

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Judge appoints receiver in gold-ship lawsuit Email

Treasure
Thursday, 30 May 2013 11:23

Tommy_Thompson

Authorities are searching for Tommy Thompson, left, and Alison Antekeier.

 

By  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COLUMBUS, OHIO - A Franklin County judge has appointed a receiver to take over the companies of salvager Tommy Thompson and has directed the receiver to bring up more treasure from the SS Central America shipwreck if that’s possible.

Thompson and his crew recovered several tons of gold from the shipwreck in the late 1980s using $12.7 million from investors, most of them from central Ohio. Although the gold was sold for an estimated $52 million in 2000, investors received nothing.

That sparked lawsuits, including the eight-year legal fight that Common Pleas Judge Patrick E. Sheeran has presided over. Thompson and a group of investors are on one side, and two investors — The Dispatch Printing Company, which owns The Dispatch, and the late Donald Fanta — are on the other.

Fanta and Dispatch Printing sued in 2005, arguing that Thompson’s Columbus Exploration and Recovery Limited companies were dysfunctional and had not issued financial reports for years. Plans to recover more treasure from the shipwreck, which could have provided returns for investors, never materialized, the lawsuit said, and Thompson had become elusive and secretive.

Read more: Judge appoints receiver in gold-ship lawsuit

Metal detectorist seeks legitimacy more than treasure Email

Archaeological
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 11:03

By Tom Eblen — Herald-Leader columnist

KENTUCKY — I always thought it would be fun to have a metal detector. I wasn't so much interested in hunting for buried treasure as finding bits of history hidden a few inches beneath my feet.

Scott Clark, an Internet business consultant in Lexington, has similar interests. An avid metal detectorist since 1985, he has become quite skilled at it — and increasingly passionate about improving the ethics and image of his hobby.

Metal detecting doesn't have the best of reputations, thanks to "treasure hunters" who look for relics on Civil War battlefields or pock-mark parks in search of lost valuables. Many historical archaeologists view detectorists about as favorably as a brain surgeon would a witch doctor.

But serious detectorists are trying to change that. Earlier this year, Clark was part of a group that worked with archaeologists to explore James Madison's Montpelier estate in Virginia. Clark co-authored an article with Montpelier archaeologist Matthew Reeves on the blog of the Society for Historical Archaeology about how the two groups can work together and literally find common ground.

Clark has a blog at Detecting.us and often writes about best practices in the hobby. Those include always asking landowners' permission before detecting, sharing finds with them and digging carefully so grounds are not damaged. He also avoids truly historic areas, such as battlefields.

Clark often donates his services to people who have lost valuables outside. Last month, he found a wedding band for a Versailles man after it slipped off his finger while he was mowing his yard.

Clark said he never accepts payment or rewards, but people often thank him by arranging access to interesting sites he can search. "The currency of the hobby is permission, which requires being trustworthy and transparent," he said.

Read more: Metal detectorist seeks legitimacy more than treasure

UTAHNS SEARCH FOR SUNKEN TREASURE OFF KEY WEST Email

Treasure
Thursday, 23 May 2013 11:14

Reported by: Brent Hunsaker

KEY WEST, Florida (ABC 4 News) - Cross Marine Projects of American Fork likes to get its feet wet. The company has gained a global reputation for finding things in lakes and oceans - things that other people have lost.

Cross is perhaps on the verge of it's biggest find to date. It's a find that could change history and make some people very rich.

A Cross team was recently in Key West, Florida. They used the tourist Mecca to stage an exploration of sea floor about 10 miles South. Their objective: a Spanish ship that sank nearly four centuries ago.

They believe the ship might have been part of a fleet heading to Spain in 1622 with New World treasure.  Off the Florida Keys the fleet ran headlong into a hurricane.

The most famous of that fleet, Nuestra Senora de Atocha and Santa Margarita, were discovered in the mid 1980's by treasure hunter Mel Fisher. The gold and silver he brought up was worth an estimated $450 million.

Read more: UTAHNS SEARCH FOR SUNKEN TREASURE OFF KEY WEST

Bill would protect water-authority lands from artifact looters Email

Archaeological
Monday, 20 May 2013 11:04

arrowheadsConservation Arrowheads seized in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation… (Fish and Wildlife)

 

By Eloísa Ruano González, Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - Treasure hunters have long pilfered arrowheads, pottery and other archaeological artifacts on state lands, risking jail time if caught.

But a loophole in state law meant that looters didn't face consequences for their thievery on Lake County Water Authority lands. That protection may be about to end.

Legislators in their recently concluded session approved a bill that makes it a crime to pilfer historical finds on water-authority lands. Looters on lands of the two water authorities affected — Lake's and the Toho Water Authority in Osceola — could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine under the legislation, which will be sent to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.

"It finally gives us the ability to prosecute people who come to public lands to archaeologically loot," said Mike Perry, Lake County Water Authority executive director. "It gives all our properties the same protection state lands enjoy."

Read more: Bill would protect water-authority lands from artifact looters

Scientist accidentally discovers gold extraction method using cornstarch Email

Treasure
Thursday, 16 May 2013 14:59

By David Self Newlin

SALT LAKE CITY — Gold may be beautiful, elegant, and extremely valuable, but the process for extracting it is nasty, poisonous, expensive and inefficient.

But science is full of serendipity, moments of accidental discovery like finding penicillin hiding in plain sight in a petri dish. Zhichang Liu, a post doctorate at Northwestern University, had just such a moment in the lab when he accidentally discovered a new method for extracting gold in a totally green way.

Liu was intending to build nanocubes to store gasses and large molecules. But what he ended up getting when he mixed cornstarch, gold and a potassium-bromide compound was needles.

"Initially, I was disappointed when my experiment didn't produce cubes, but when I saw the needles, I got excited," Liu said. "I wanted to learn more about the composition of these needles."

It turns out, the needles were composed of gold nanowires, leading to the possibility that the process could be repeated, scaled up and produce a method for extracting gold that is cheap, effective and non-toxic. And it is very specific for gold, excluding other chemically similar elements like platinum and palladium.

Currently, gold is extracted using extremely poisonous cyanide salts and gasses. It leaves behind difficult-to-clean waste that stays in the environment for quite some time.

However, Liu's new method uses alpha-cyclodextrin, a cyclic sugar with six glucose molecules. That, plus the potassium-bromine compound, are easy to clean. It can extract gold from raw sources or from gold scraps, meaning it could find a use in recycling consumer electronics.

"The elimination of cyanide from the gold industry is of the utmost importance environmentally," said Sir Fraser Stoddart, the Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. "We have replaced nasty reagents with a cheap, biologically friendly material derived from starch."

Courtesy: KSL TV

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Blue Water Ventures International Launches Phase II of Business Model Email

Treasure
Thursday, 16 May 2013 13:56

Blue_Water_Ventures_International

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Blue Water Ventures International, Inc. (the "Company") (OTCBB:BWVI) today announced the long awaited launch of Phase II of its operations and plans for its 2013 season exploration of shipwrecks on the east coast of Florida and several sites in Central America. Additionally, the Company is exploring the feasibility of additional projects in Caribbean waters, including the Bahamas and Dominican Republic. The Company is currently acquiring additional vessels and has assembled skilled crews to pursue these projects. Its mission is to locate and recover artifacts and treasure from historic sunken ships, whose cargos offer vast material, intellectual, and social rewards.

About Blue Water Ventures International

BWVI is a historic shipwreck research and recovery company that locates and recovers lost treasures dated from pre-colonial times to our recent past. During Phase I of its operations, it has recovered historical treasure and artifacts from the 1622 Spanish fleet carried by the galleon Nuestra Santa Margarita, that succumbed to hurricane force winds off the coast of Key West, Florida. The Company located treasure from the Santa Margarita using state of the art technology and recovered an estimated $16 million in gold, silver and natural pearls along its widely dispersed shipwreck trail. After splitting the treasure with its joint venture partner, the Company values its portion of this treasure at $6+ million.

CEO, Keith Webb stated that becoming a publicly traded company and the combined aspects of a successful 2013 dive season is exactly what we at BWVI have envisioned.

A portion of the Margarita treasure can be viewed at our website: www.BWVINT.com.