More than 2,900 gold coins and 45 gold ingots have been recovered from the shipwrecked S.S. Central America since an archaeological excavation began in mid-April, Odyssey Marine Exploration, the company contracted to dive to the site, revealed on a report published Tuesday.
Other 19th century artifacts recovered include luggage pieces, a pistol, a pocket watch, and several daguerreotypes, an early type of photography. Several samples of coral and sea anemones have also been collected through a science program which is studying deep sea biological diversity.
Pine and oak specimens placed on the seabed in 1990 and 1991, during the last known dives to the shipwreck site, are being retrieved so that scientists can study the “shipworms” consuming and destroying the ship’s timbers. Read more.
While conducting an excavation near Brest in northwestern France, before the construction of a road, a number of finds were uncovered including a rare early 14th century hoard that speaks of the turbulent times of the Hundred Years Wars.
The archaeologists from INRAP (the French archaeological agency), located a craft area with work spaces and a series of buildings of the 12th-14th centuries that covered 7000 square metres. It was one of these buildings that delivered the unexpected monetary deposit of nearly 130 French and English coins from the early fourteenth century.
Archaeologists unearthed the remains of masonry along the route corresponding to three buildings dated to between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. Read more.
A Late Second Temple Period Jewish settlement with a trove of rare bronze coins inside one of its houses has been discovered in Israel.
The 114 bronze coins, which were found inside a ceramic money box and hidden in the corner of a room, date to the fourth year of the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans — an uprising that destroyed the Temple on Tisha B’Av about 2,000 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported today (Aug. 5).
"The hoard, which appears to have been buried several months prior to the fall of Jerusalem, provides us with a glimpse into the lives of Jews living on the outskirts of Jerusalem at the end of the rebellion," Pablo Betzer and Eyal Marco, excavation directors on behalf of the IAA, said in a statement. Read more.
A member of the public looking in a Derbyshire cave has led experts to the first ever discovery of Late Iron Age and Republic Roman Coins buried together in Britain, described by archaeologists as akin to a modern savings account held in a sacred space known only by well-off tribespeople.
A powerful member of the Corieltavi – who ruled the East Midlands during the 1st century, demonstrating prolific coin-making capabilities – is thought to have left his money within Reynard’s Kitchen Cave, where four initial coins grew to an impressive hoard during a full excavation by the National Trust.
“In total we found 26 coins, including three Roman coins which pre-date the invasion of Britain in AD 43,” says Rachael Hall, of the Trust, who believes their location adds to the mystery. Read more.
Following comprehensive investigations carried out by the Tourism and Antiquities Police, members of a gang specialising in illegal excavation work and the looting of antiquities have been caught red-handed.
The gang leader was arrested in his home in Giza’s Abu Sir village, where a collection of 17 authentic Islamic coins, 12 Ancient Egyptian ushabti figurines and a replica statue were found hidden inside an oven.
According to the police report, this collection emerged from illegal excavations carried out by the gang members and a number of villagers in a remote archaeological area in Abu Sir. (source)
WACO, Texas — Millions of ancient looted coins from archaeological excavations enter the black market yearly, and a Baylor University researcher who has seen plundered sites likens the thefts to stealing “smoking guns” from crime scenes. But those who collect and study coins have been far too reluctant to condemn the unregulated trade, he says.
“Archaeologists are detectives. When something has been taken away from a historical site, the object is divorced from its relationship with other objects, and its utility for the writing of history — much like solving a criminal case — is diminished,” said Nathan Elkins, Ph.D., assistant art professor in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.
Elkins is the staff numismatist at the excavations of an ancient synagogue from the Roman/Byzantine period in Huqoq, Israel. He has written an article, “Investigating the Crime Scene: Looting and Ancient Coins,” that appears in the current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Read more.
An archaeological group is hoping to buy a collection of gold and silver coins unearthed by a builder 11 years ago.
Richard Mason found a pottery jug while renovating a house on the island of Lindisfarne, Northumberland, in 2003.
But it was not until 2011 he realised the jug contained 17 rare coins.
An inquest has declared the hoard to be treasure and Newcastle’s Society of Antiquaries wants to raise an estimated £31,000 to keep it in the region.
The 10 gold and seven silver coins span the reign of six English sovereigns and several European states with one - a gold scudo of Pope Clement VII, who refused to annul the marriage of Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon in the 1520s - thought to be worth about £30,000 alone. Read more.
A Roman mint would have produced copper alloy coins on the site of a former villa in Leicester, according to archaeologists investigating pits full of pottery and moulds of valuable metal at the city’s Blackfriars productivity hive.
Enamelled brooches and medieval features at the site have been predated by waste and storage ditches and roundhouses at the settlement, based on the east bank of the River Soar.
Chris Wardle, a planning department archaeologist who has been part of a team responsible for a lengthy examination of the complex industrial terrain, said there was “something special” about the area during the 1st century BC. Read more.