An oceanic exploration company has recovered 122,000 pounds of silver from a shipwreck 300 miles off the coast of Galway, Ireland—the heaviest amount of precious metal ever retrieved from a shipwreck.
In February 1941, the S.S. Gairsoppa, a 412-foot steel-hulled British cargo ship with stockpiles of tea, iron, and silver, was weathering a storm when it was struck by a Nazi torpedo. The ship sank within 20 minutes; only one person survived.
At the time, the silver that ended up on the seafloor was insured at $1.3 million. Today it’s worth about $75 million.
The silver was retrieved about two weeks ago by Odyssey Marine Exploration, which used a remotely operated vehicle to access the shipwreck. The vehicle descended about three miles and explored several rooms in the ship until it found the silver in two locations. Read more.
Three items of Viking silver dating back 1,000 years, discovered using a metal detector in the Isle of Man, has been declared treasure trove.
An inquest heard the three silver pieces, found by Seth Crowe in a field in Andreas in April, date back to between 930 and 1080 AD.
Archaeologists believe the two silver ingots and brooch fragment contain more than 60% silver.
Coroner of Inquests John Needham made the ruling at Douglas Courthouse.
Mr Crowe, 39, made the discovery having sought the permission of the landowner Leslie Faragher, some years ago. Read more.
A HOARD of Roman coins worth hundreds of pounds was unearthed in a farmer’s field in Sheffield - and this week was declared treasure.
The five republican silver denarii were discovered by a metal detector enthusiast on land at Plumbley Hall Farm, near Mosborough.
The find was reported to the authorities before the coins were seized by the British Museum - and on Tuesday assistant deputy coroner David Urpeth ruled they were the property of the Crown.
Mr Urpeth told Sheffield Coroner’s Court that the finder of the coins - Edward Bailey - would receive a cash reward, along with the landowner, Raymond Woolley.
They were unearthed between May 28 and June 3 last year. Read more.
A silver treasure from the 12th century has been found on the Baltic island Gotland, where over 600 pieces of silver coins have been unearthed, according to reports in local media.
“This is an amazing find. It’s unbelievable that treasures of this scale exist here on Gotland,” Marie Louise Hellquist of Gotland’s County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen) told local newspaper Hela Gotland.
The medieval treasure was uncovered last Monday, as the landowner was moving soil. Some 500 pieces of coin were discovered in the field, and following further searches conducted once archaeologists arrived on Wednesday, that figure has swollen considerably.
“In total we’ve reached 650 pieces, so far,” Hellquist said. Read more.
Row after row of silver bricks lie stacked aboard the sunken S.S. Gairsoppa, torpedoed in the North Atlantic by a Nazi U-boat in 1941. The Odyssey Marine Exploration salvage company this month announced it had retrieved 48 of the 240 tons of silver in the British merchant steamship’s hull.
The 412-foot (126-meter) Gairsoppa currently resides nearly 3 miles (4.7 kilometers) underwater—deeper than the Titanic. The World War II-era vessel’s silver is the heaviest and deepest precious-metal cargo ever retrieved from a shipwreck, according to Odyssey, which plans to return to the site to continue the salvage operation.
A ladder connects the cargo hold to the Gairsoppa’s deck. The ship’s holds are open, and its belly is splintered by the torpedo that sank it, but the Gairsoppa nevertheless sits upright on the seabed, largely intact, its paint still faintly visible.
A remotely controlled robotic arm lifts silver bullion from the Gairsoppa’s hold. Recovery of the bricks began in May 2012.
Crowned with anemones, the Gairsoppa’s brass stern compass retains its shine after 71 years.
In addition to the silver cargo, more than 1,700 tons of tea were listed in the ship’s manifest. Tea chests in the wreck are among the clues that helped Odyssey identify the wreck as the Gairsoppa. More.
A spectacular 2,000 year-old gold and silver hoard was uncovered in an archaeological excavation conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Qiryat Gat region.
A rich and extraordinary hoard that includes jewelry and silver and gold coins from the Roman period was recently exposed in a salvage excavation in the vicinity of Qiryat Gat. The treasure trove comprising some 140 gold and silver coins together with gold jewelry was probably hidden by a wealthy lady at a time of impending danger during the Bar Kokhba Revolt.
Archaeologists at Tel Aviv University found the collection of gold, silver and bronze jewellery wrapped in fabric and hidden in the vessel, according to American Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU), a group facilitating the cause of higher education in Israel.
Found at the ruins of a domestic settlement at Megiddo, which has multiple layers of remains of ancient settlements, the clay vessel dates back to Iron Age I, around 1100 BC, and was excavated in 2010.
“This vessel was actually excavated during the 2010 season, but remained uncleaned while waiting for a molecular analysis of its content (soil). When it was finally emptied during the summer of 2011, the pieces of jewellery appeared,” archaeologists of The Megiddo Expedition said in a statement.
Researchers believe that the way the ornaments were well preserved points towards mysterious circumstances, and that a clay pot could not have been the normal storage place for jewellery. Read more.
In the first exhibition of its kind, the Fitzwilliam Museum will relate the story of the quest for immortality and struggle for imperial legitimacy in ancient China’s Han Dynasty.
The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China (May 5-November 11) will feature over 350 treasures in jade, gold, silver, bronze and ceramics in the largest and most important exhibition of ancient royal treasures ever to travel outside China.
The Han Dynasty established the basis for unified rule of China up to the present day. To maintain this hard-won empire the Han emperors had to engage in a constant struggle for power and legitimacy, with contests that took place on symbolic battlefields as much as on real ones. While written accounts provide an outline of these events, it is through the stunning archaeological discoveries of recent decades that the full drama and spectacle of this critical episode in Chinese history has been brought to life. Read more.