The Blue Water Rose out of Key West Florida, moored just outside the Panama Canal. She was one of the primary recovery vessels used to recover artifacts from the wreck of the San Jose. (Photo - TreasureWorks)
By Tommy Vawter
It has been some time since I have sat down and put pen to paper on this subject matter, save a rant from time to time on TreasureWorks FORUMS or on my facebook account. The last time was back in February of 2013 when I penned an article on my blog titled “Treasure Hunters – v – Archaeologists”.
Back then I supported the efforts of some professional Treasure Hunters who were working alongside Archaeologists and in cooperation with the Governments who had possible historic and reachable treasure within their political boarders, as the best way forward for the rescue of long lost shipwrecks from the ravages of the sea.
Just the year prior, Odyssey Marine was forced to hand over to the Kingdom of Spain some $500 Million in treasure they had recovered in International Waters, in what seemed at the time to be an arbitrary and capricious decision by the US Supreme Court, not to stay a lower court ruling awarding the treasure to Spain. This precedent setting case basically pumped out centuries of International Shipwreck Salvage Law with the bilge water.
That plot thickened with the release via WikiLeaks of a State Department Cable to the Kingdom of Spain where the US State Department promised support to Spain in the Odyssey Marine case in a quid pro quo exchange for Spain’s support in efforts to recover a painting from a French Museum that was taken by the Nazi’s during WWII, from relatives of a wealthy family, and presumably a Clinton campaign contributor now residing in the US. While the Kingdom of Spain ended up with the Odyssey Marine Treasure, the painting is still hanging in a French Museum.
This time it’s not the State Department in cahoots with a foreign government, for their own misguided political ends, all too eager to sacrifice the hard work and considerable expense of truly archaeological conscious treasure salvors. No, this time it’s the United Nations coming to the rescue of the Kingdom of Spain (more about Spain in a later blog), and the Panama Institute of National Culture.
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community of Spanish Ship Bay, says in a new book that the province made a ‘colossal mistake’ five years ago when it repealed the Treasure Trove Act.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.
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.”
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
A hoard of 90 Roman coins seized by police in a south Shropshire man’s bedroom have been declared treasure trove – meaning they are now the property of the crown.
The silver coins – 87 complete and three broken, some still with soil stuck to them – are believed to date back as early as 71 AD.
They were seized by police from the bedroom of Brady Marston, of Station Crescent, Craven Arms.
The 24-year-old told the hearing that the coins had been left to him by his late grandfather.
By Garret Ellison
LAKE ONTARIO — When it comes to Great Lakes shipwreck hunting, sometimes it's a matter of feast or famine.
In 2014, New York wreck sleuths Jim Kennard and Roger Pawlowski found four undiscovered shipwrecks in the waters of Lake Ontario.
This year, the duo found one — a propeller steamer named the Bay State, which foundered in a storm off Fair Haven, N.Y. in 1862. Discovery of the ship, launched before the Civil War, was announced on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
"We were getting pretty discouraged when something popped up on the depth finder," said Kennard. "About 15 seconds later, the side-scan sonar went over."
"Finally, we found something."
By Nick Squires, Rome
Italian scientists have identified five sites where they believe a 1,600-year-old hoard of Roman gold and treasure worth more than £700 million was buried, in what they described as a “real-life Indiana Jones hunt”.
Geologists will use drones, ground-penetrating radar, infra-red technology and electromagnetic instruments to try to find the tomb of King Alaric, a Visigoth chieftain who is said to have been buried alongside the loot in 410 AD in or around the town of Cosenza in southern Italy.
According to contemporary historical accounts, he was buried in a stone tomb after a local river was temporarily diverted and then returned to its natural course in order to protect the site from grave robbers.
Researchers believe that if the fifth century accounts are correct, then up to 25 tonnes of gold, worth around one billion euros (£734 million), could be waiting to be discovered, along with silver and gems.
The treasure is said to have come from the sack of Rome, carried out earlier in 410 AD by Alaric and his marauding Gothic tribesmen.
“It’s a real-life Indiana Jones hunt,” said Francesco Sisci, the project coordinator.
Archaeologists have uncovered some inexplicable finds in a rare case involving the discovery of a Maya wall painting, or mural, at a shrine complex at the ancient site of Tulix Mul in northern Belize.
Buried anciently under a fill of large uncut stones at the beginning of the Maya Late Classic period, a vaulted room within a monumental structure features a plastered wall that hides two successive wall paintings, an unusual find for archaeologists investigating Maya remains. The discovery was first made in 2013 as a team of archaeologists, students and volunteers under the Blue Creek Archaeological Project with the Maya Research Program (MRP) and the University of Texas at Tyler began excavating a structure that showed intrusion by a looter's trench at the site of Tulix Mul, which is associated with another site known as Nojol Nah, a site where MRP has been excavating for years. Although excavations at this structure revealed the plastered, vaulted room, the biggest prize was the evidence of the wall painting, hidden beneath the plaster. Through time, small fragments had exfoliated from the plaster, revealing the underlying presence of a polychrome, fine-line mural. The mural style appeared generally similar to that found years before by other archaeologists at San Bartolo in Guatemala. Like San Bartolo, there are only a few other known Maya murals found in Central America. Aside from their artistic beauty, they have provided significant new information about Maya art, religious concepts, trade and interaction. The Tulix Mul mural may prove to be equally informative, especially as the site investigators suspect that another rubble-filled room (still unexcavated) may also contain a mural.
By MARK SCHIELDROP (Patch Staff)
NEWPORT RI, A team of marine archaeologists, scientists and volunteers continued their methodical work mapping shipwrecks in Newport Harbor last month in an ongoing effort to find and positively identify Capt. Cook’s famous vessel, the HM Bark Endeavor.
Eighteenth Century British Explorer Capt. James Cook explored more of the world than any man who ever lived and many researchers believe the Endeavor, his most-famous vessel, is among a fleet of 13 British transport ships sunk during the Revolutionary War in Newport Harbor.
When the vessel is believed to have been sunk in 1778, it by then had changed hands and was known as The Lord Sandwich. During a five day fieldwork exercise in September, members of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project and the Australian National Maritime Museum mapped the ninth shipwreck site and completed a pre-disturbance site map of an 18th century ballast pile.
PANAMA - The National Institute of Culture (INAC) has decided not to extend its contract with Marine Research del Istmo SA, for the recovery of treasures from the galleon San Jose, which sank in the archipelago of Las Perlas in the seventeenth century.
The contract between the Government and the commercial firm Marine Research was signed in 2003 and expired on August 28, 2015, although one of its clauses establishing an extension to continue the recovery of treasures.
However, INAC officials reported anomalies that led to the end of the marina concession were detected. In fact, the agency has withheld hundreds of coins that were confiscated from one of the company representatives.
The managing director of INAC, Juan Francisco Guerrero said they have all the information they need to manage this legal issue. "It will act in the law accordingly," he said.
- Olmec carving stolen decades ago in Mexico found in France
- 'Nazi Gold' Treasure Hunters Could Face Charges
- Marine Archaeologists Excavate Greek Antikythera Shipwreck
- ‘Yamashita treasure’ 70 years after
- Metal Detectorist finds 5th century skeleton with shield boss
- “Research Vessel” Possibly Hunting For Treasure Off Iceland’s Coast
- Poland takes Nazi loot train claim from treasure hunters
- Huge Ancient Greek City found underwater in the Aegean Sea