Fri, 08 Dec 2023

Treasure hoard recovered from 350-year-old Bahamas shipwreck

Robert Besser
07 Aug 2022, 06:54 GMT+10

NASSAU, Bahamas: A team of explorers have announced that they have uncovered a treasure, including coins, gemstones and priceless jewels, from a 350-year-old sunken Spanish galleon off the Bahamas.

The Nuestra Seora de las Maravillas, or Our Lady of Wonders, sank in 1656 after it collided with another ship from its own fleet.

It was carrying a treasure, some of which was reserved as a royal tax for King Philip IV, from Cuba to Seville, Spain. Also, the 891-ton ship contained more cargo than usual, as it was transporting treasure retrieved from another ship that had previously sunk.

Shipwreck specialist Allen Exploration, which carried out a two-year expedition beginning in 2020, said several attempts have been made to retrieve the ship's cargo, with almost 3.5 million items being recovered in the past.

The latest discoveries will be displayed this month at the new Bahamas Maritime Museum in the nation's second largest city, Freeport, beginning 8th August.

In a statement, project marine archaeologist James Sinclair said the researchers, in coordination with local divers, archaeologists and other experts, are also "reconstructing the mystery of how the ship was wrecked and fell apart."

Allen Exploration founder Carl Allen said by using remote-sensing technology, such as sonar and magnetometers, the researchers tracked "a long and winding debris trail of finds" scattered over a 13-kilometer stretch of ocean floor.

More discoveries are yet to be made, Sinclair added, stating, "The ship may have been obliterated by past salvage and hurricanes. But we're convinced there are more stories out there."

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