This law is pending only a formality regulatory which is scheduled for January next year, giving way to tender to explore and then extract what's under the sea, said in an interview with Efe Colombian Culture Minister Mariana Garces. "Colombia has approximately 1,300 shipwrecks. Of those, according to historians, between five and seven can be galleons economic interest," Garces said.
The controversial law provides that the company that wins the bid to extract the wealth of the galleons can keep up to 50% of the objects of trade exchange value considered repeated: gold and silver bullion, coins, precious stones not intervened by man and industrial cargoes. Instead, all parts that do not meet this criterion will be considered repeat Colombian heritage and, therefore, property of the nation. 's greatest treasures seems to be the galleon San José, a flagship of the Spanish Navy ship sunk by gunfire in 1708 by English pirates off the coast of Cartagena de Indias with great wealth in their cellars. "Some say there are 6,000 million, others say there are 3,000 others say that San Jose has been looted, "said the minister, who also opened the possibility that the galleon is not in the place where it is believed.
And in 2007 the Supreme Court of Colombia ruled that U.S. treasure hunting company Sea Search Armada has rights to 50% of the treasure of San Jose if you are in the coordinates that the company claimed. "We're hoping to finish that ultimately judicial decisions (on San Jose), we are confident will be favorable to us, to establish the mechanism of exploration, "said the minister about this process that is still in court. Submerged Heritage Act, approved this year, also provides that the priority for extracting treasures submerged the Colombian State, but the minister acknowledged that the country "has technological developments in the field." Responsible for the public company would do Dimar (General Maritime) Garces acknowledged that they have not yet begun to work on developing a technology that permits it. The Minister also referred to the rest of sunken ships, nearly 1,300 that have no economic interest but scientific and heritage. "We would have underwater explorations for our history, not only with the only commercial mood. That's not our interest, not our priority," he said Garces.
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Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research poses alongside the salvage ship Sea Hunter in Boston Harbor. Brooks will use the Sea Hunter to salvage the cargo of 71 tons of platinum now worth about $3 billion from the British merchant ship Port Nicholson which was sunk by a German U-boat in 1942.
By Doug Fraser
Treasure hunter Greg Brooks has burned through at least $8 million of investor money in his hunt for a supposed fortune in platinum, gold and jewels on a sunken World War II freighter 50 miles northeast of Provincetown.
But now he is considering ending his hunt and selling off expedition assets, including the main salvage vessel.
According to his own records and status reports filed with the court, Brooks spent less than 80 days at sea in his first five years attempting to salvage treasure from the S.S. Port Nicholson, which sank after being torpedoed by a German submarine. He gained wide publicity but now appears to be quietly giving up, despite insisting there are billions on board the ship, according to documents filed in a court case contesting ownership of the freighter's contents.
Three cannon have already been raised from the site along with 1,000 artefacts
The Alderney Maritime Trust and staff from Bournemouth University dove the site in October, the first time work had been carried out since 2008.
During the dive three cannon and "substantial ship timbers" were found and photographed.
Mike Harrison, coordinator trustee, said more work on the site was going to go ahead next summer.
He said: "Things move very slowly with marine archaeology, the work we've done in the last few years... has been conserving objects."
The unnamed ship sunk in November 1592 and was discovered by local fishermen Bertie Costeril and Fred Shaw in 1977.
The trust was established in 1994 and in 2004 the Duke of York became the group's patron.
Three cannon were among about 1,000 artefacts raised from the site in 2008 and replicas of the cannon were fired as part of tests about the technology of the time.
Two of those cannon have returned to Alderney after conservation work and the third is due to come to the island in the spring.
Other finds from the ship include what could be a Viking navigational aid called a sunstone.
The dive in October started clearing debris left by previous dives and carried out preparation work for a further geophysical survey to be carried out by Bournemouth University in the summer.
Mr Harrison said this survey was dependent on securing the necessary funding.
He said: "It's very, very expensive... we've got a lot of fundraising to do, it's tens of thousands of pounds, conserving a cannon is £10,000 for example."
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Government Prohibits diving on the Samabaj site
Yesterday we were informed that the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture and Sports issued an order that prohibits SCUBA Diving on the Samabaj archaeological site, on Lake Atitlan, Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, because the government does not yet have an adequate management plan of the place.
After that resolution was issued entities involved in the management of the Lake conducted a workshop for the creation of this plan.
Adriana Segura, the Directorate General of Cultural and Natural Heritage, said that the aim is to identify problems affecting the archaeological site and take into account the local Indian authorities.
Indigenous mayors of Santiago Atitlán expressed discomfort because they have not been taken into account, noting that they have knowledge and documents containing information about this place, including the ground that the name is Pa'Jaibal '.
They asked that the management plan will be suitable and especially the revenue generated in any way directly benefit the conservation of the site and the local population.
The ruins were first discovered by a local diver back in 1996, and archaeologists showed little interest in the site until just recently.
Once archaeologists realized the size and scope of the submerged Mayan ruins they decided to keep the location a secret in order to prevent any looting of the site.
In July of this year, a team from TreasureWorks, led by explorer and treasure hunter Tommy Vawter successfully located the lost Mayan City of Samabaj and spent several days diving on and exploring the site.
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By Chuck Brittain
A former Westmoreland County man who made national headlines claiming to have found lost treasure off the Florida coast was found dead Tuesday in Ligonier Township after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The Westmoreland County Coroner's office identified the victim as Jay E. Miscovich, 54, of Key West, Fla.
Deputy Coroner Joshua Zappone said Miscovich was found in the yard of an unoccupied house owned by Dr. Donald Ray of Greensburg.
Zappone described Miscovich as a “drifter” who once lived in the house. Coroner Ken Bacha pronounced him dead at the scene at 5:15 p.m. Miscovich shot himself with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Miscovich, a self-proclaimed “thrill seeker,” claimed that he discovered 154 pounds of emeralds worth untold millions in the Gulf of Mexico, about 40 miles off Key West, Fla., in 2010, according to court documents.
Miscovich, a Latrobe native, his partner and their company, JTR Enterprises, were awaiting a court decision from a federal judge in Florida after they were sued for fraud by rivals for the shipwrecked treasure.
Taking portable XRF into the field to survey for geochemical indicators of human occupation
Obsidian, naturally occurring volcanic glass, is smooth, hard, and far sharper than a surgical scalpel when fractured, making it a highly desirable raw material for crafting stone tools for almost all of human history. The earliest obsidian tools, found in East Africa, are nearly two million years old, and obsidian scalpels are still used today in specialized medical procedures.
The chemistry of obsidian varies from volcano to volcano, and the chemical “fingerprints” allow researchers to match an obsidian artifact to the volcanic origin of its raw material. The chemical tests often involve dedicated analytical laboratories, even nuclear reactors, and take place months or years after an archaeological site has been excavated.
The new process uses an analytical technique called portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF), which involves a handheld instrument about the size, shape, and weight of a cordless drill. This portability enables archaeologists to identify the origins of stone tools in the field rather than having to send off artifacts to a distant lab. The newly developed method, which saves time and money, will first be used to study obsidian tools made by early humans, including Neanderthals and Homo erectus, tens of thousands of years ago.
TAMPA, FL - A Florida based treasure hunting firm has discovered a 450-year-old ship that wrecked off the Dominican coast. Among its valuable cargo -- the single largest cache of 16th century pewter tableware ever discovered. The ship was also carrying extremely rare Spanish silver coins from the late 1400's through the mid 1500's and several gold artifacts. This unprecedented find of 16th century pewter will re-write history books, as many of the maker's marks stamped into the fine pewter have never been seen before. While the value of the gold and silver recovered is easily determined, surprisingly, experts place the value of this four and a half century old pewter collection into the millions. The collection includes plates, platters, porringers, salts and flagons in an array of sizes and styles.
Divers from Anchor Research and Salvage (a Global Marine Exploration, Inc. company) working with the Punta Cana Foundation painstakingly excavated the wreck site under contract with the Underwater Cultural Heritage division of the Dominican Minister of Culture.
Anchor Research and Salvage has recently completed surveying operations on their southwestern coastal lease area off the Dominican Republic, revealing numerous previously undiscovered shipwrecks. Noted shipwreck archaeologist and author Sir Robert F. Marx estimates that there is several billion dollars of submerged treasures in the southern coastal area alone, and ten times that amount waiting in Global Marine Exploration's future target areas. Investigation and recovery operations in the Dominican Republic continue.
CEO Robert Pritchett said, "Sample artifacts from these newly discovered wreck sites indicate that we may have found an entire fleet of early Galleons that wrecked on their way back to Spain carrying the riches of the new world." Pritchett also mentions that negotiations are well underway for GME and its companies to provide artifact rescue and excavation services in other countries as well. "GME's unique business model opens up a new age for cost-effective and archaeologically sensitive shipwreck exploration. Other countries are seeing how well we document and record the archaeological evidence in the Dominican Republic, and we are in talks with other nations in the Caribbean and beyond," said Pritchett.
Courtesy; e Turbo News
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By Desiree Stennett, Orlando Sentinel
Most treasure hunters go a lifetime and never take home a single piece of silver. But one Sanford family is now among the divers who struck gold — and a lot of it.
The treasure-hunting Schmitt family uncovered this weekend what could be $300,000 worth of gold chains and coins off the coast of Fort Pierce.
"This is like the end of a dream," said Rick Schmitt, who owns Booty Salvage.
The discovery came about 150 yards offshore and only 15 feet down. Schmitt's family — along with diver and friend, Dale Zeak — said they found 64 feet of thin gold chain that weighed in at more than three pounds, five gold coins and a gold ring.
Brent Brisben, co-founder of 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels LLC, the company that owns the rights to dive on the wreckage site, came up with what he called a conservative estimated value of the haul.
"To be the first person to touch an artifact in 300 years, is indescribable," Brisben said Monday. "They were there 150 years before the Civil War. It's truly remarkable to be able to bring that back."
By Tommy Vawter
My interest in the Legend of Ciudad Blanca, or "The White City" began several years ago as we made plans to launch an expedition to the Central American county of Honduras, and last year we spent 3 months exploring Honduras and the many legends of Pirate treasure on the Island of Roatan and also the legendary city said to be located in the Mosquitia.
The Rio Platano Biosphere was declared World Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which is located in the departments of Olancho, Gracias a Dios and Colón , with an area of 815 000 hectares, which borders the Bosawás, in Nicaragua.
Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés reported hearing legends of a region with towns and villages of extreme wealth in Honduras, but never located them. By the 1930s, there were rumors of a place in Honduras called the "City of the Monkey God" and in 1940 adventurer Theodore Morde claimed to have found it. However, he never provided a precise location for the site, one that later sources equated with Ciudad Blanca. Morde died before returning to the region to undertake further exploration.
Peruvian archaeologist Luis Jaime Castillo flies a drone over Cerro Chepén, one of thousands of ancient ruins across Peru. Photograph: Mariana Bazo/Reuters
In Peru, home to the spectacular Inca city of Machu Picchu and thousands of ancient ruins, archaeologists are turning to drones to speed up sluggish survey work and protect sites from squatters, builders and miners.
Remote-controlled aircraft were developed for military purposes and the US is increasingly using them to attack alleged terrorists, but the technology's falling price means it is increasingly used for civilian and commercial projects around the world.
Small drones have been helping a growing number of researchers produce three-dimensional models of Peruvian sites instead of the usual flat maps – and in days and weeks instead of months and years.
Speed is important to archaeologists here. Peru's economy has grown at an average of 6.5% a year over the past decade, and development pressures have surpassed looting as the main threat to the country's cultural treasures, according to the government.
Researchers are still picking up the pieces after a pyramid near Lima, believed to have been built 5,000 years ago by a fire-revering coastal society, was razed in July by construction firms. The same month, residents of a town near the pre-Incan ruins of Yanamarca reported that miners digging for quartz were damaging the three-story stone structures.
And squatters and farmers repeatedly try to seize land near important sites such as Chan Chan on the northern coast, thought to be the biggest adobe city in the world.
Archaeologists say drones can help set boundaries to protect sites, monitor threats and create a digital repository of ruins that can help build awareness and aid in the reconstruction of any damage.
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