Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wreck of English 'Merchant Royal' found near Cornwall

from Wikinews
May 19, 2007

Reports say that a team of treasure hunters from the United States has recovered over 500 million U.S. dollars (£253m) worth of gold and silver coins off the coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom in what is being called the biggest treasure find ever, but the exact location of the treasure has not been named because of security and legal concerns. The operation is codenamed the Black Swan Project.

Odyssey Marine Exploration made the discovery and the treasure is believed to be from a 17th century shipwreck located some 40 miles off the Cornish coast. There have reportedly been hundreds of thousands of the silver coins and at least 200 gold coins found in the wreckage, some in "near mint condition." All the coins are being examined in the U.S. by experts.

"The gold coins are almost all dazzling mint state specimens," said one of the founders of Odyssey Marine Exploration, Greg Stemm.

The reports came out when Doctor Lane Brunner, who is located in the U.S. and is an expert on coins, said that the team had to report the discovery to a judge in the fall of 2006 before the finds could be salvaged.

"They told a judge at that point that they had found the wreck of a seventeenth-century merchant ship in the Atlantic Ocean, just outside the English Channel - about 40 miles off Land's End. So all we can do is add two and two together. It would seem logical given the timing and everything that could be the site," said Brunner.

Reports suggest that the shipwreck is that of the Merchant Royal which is said to have sunk in 1641 near the Scilly Islands.

"We have treated this site with kid gloves and the archaeological work done by our team out there is unsurpassed. We are thoroughly documenting and recording the site, which we believe will have immense historical significance," added Stemm.

No comments: