A boat docked Thursday in Key West carrying an estimated million-dollars-plus worth of 17th century gold and artifacts treasure salvagers say they recovered from a shipwrecked Spanish galleon.
The pieces include a gold bar, eight gold chains and 11 ornate gold pieces found in approximately 18 feet of water about 40 miles west of Key West.
Marine archaeologist Dr. Duncan Mathewson, a partner in Blue Water Ventures, says experts believe the items will point them to the final resting place of the Spanish galleon Santa Margarita that sank in a 1622 storm.
"We know a lot about how the ship came in and sank and then progressively broke up. We know from the documentation, we know from the salvage efforts back in the 17th century that there probably is upwards of 150 to 200 million of artifacts and of treasures still left on the Santa Margarita.”
Mathewson says among the most intriguing discoveries was an 8-inch-long closed metal box. A small gap in its seal allows a glimpse at the contents, thought to be pearls or diamonds.
An initial cache of treasure and artifacts from the Santa Margarita was discovered in 1980 by the late shipwreck salvor Mel Fisher. Blue Water Ventures has been searching for the remainder of the Margarita wreck site for two years.
Friday, 15 June 2007 01:00
TreasureWritten by WGCU Newsroom