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.”
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
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.
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.
LIMASSOL CYPRUS: Cypriot authorities have confiscated the cargo of a Bahamas-flagged ship suspected of illegal treasure hunting, and are questioning its crew.
Acting on a tip, police on Wednesday secured a search and seizure warrant for the vessel, which has been moored at Limassol harbor since December 17.
The ship was active out at sea prior to that date.
Police, assisted by antiquities department and customs officials, boarded the ship and discovered in its hold, which was locked, 57 crates in which several ancient artifacts were being held.
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.
Deep-ocean explorer Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. announced Wednesday it has sold intangible and tangible assets related to its shipwreck business for $21 million.
California-based Monaco Financial LLC and affiliated entities purchased the assets, according to a statement.
Included in the deal are all of Odyssey's bank debt, totaling $11.7 million; $2.2 million of Odyssey's debt owed to Monaco Financial is retired; $5 million of this debt ceases to accrue; a $1 million loan from Monaco was retired; and a further $1 million in case was provided for general corporate uses; according to the statement.
Odyssey will retain a 21.25 percent interest in the future net proceeds from shipwreck projects as part of the deal, and holds an exclusive contract to provide shipwreck search and recovery services, according to the statement.
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.
BELLEVUE, Wash. — Treasure hunting is inherently risky and those who invest often don’t see a return.
Bellevue resident Ken Harbeston knows the risk, and for 30 years, he has been trying to reap the rewards.
In 1981, Harbeston and a group of investors spent $12 million to rent a deep water submarine.
They were searching for the holy grail of shipwrecks, the San Jose.
The San Jose sank in a battle off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia, in 1708.
It was filled with gold and silver that could be worth up to $17 billion today.
While searching the ocean floor, Harbeston found the ship.
"There were wood piles and an iron cannon," said Harbeston.
SPAIN: Secretary of State for Culture, Jose Maria Lassalle, was since Saturday in Cuba on an official visit, where he learned of the discovery of the ship San Jose. After a day of situation analysis, Lassalle said that since the Executive Mariano Rajoy addressed prudently fact, given the special relationship with Colombia Spain. But the triumphalism shown yesterday by President Juan Manuel Santos has made since Culture see with concern the implementation of Colombian law of 2013 for the protection of underwater heritage. It is a rule that Lassalle had previously had occasion to discuss the news at some point -a eyes of Spain, "worrying" - with the Colombian Minister of Culture, Mariana Garces.
Colombian President Juan Manual Santos hailed on Saturday the discovery of a Spanish galleon that went down off the coast of the South American nation more than 300 years ago with what might be the world's largest sunken treasure.
"Great news: We have found Galleon San Jose!".
The San Jose was carrying gold, silver, gems and jewelry collected in the South American colonies to be shipped to Spain's king to help finance his war of succession against the British when it was sunk in June 1708.
The company and the government agreed to split any proceeds, but the government later said all treasure would belong to Colombia, a view that was backed by a United States court in 2011. SSA said in 1981 it had located the area in which the ship sank.
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