sunken ships

Crusader Shipwreck Discovered off Israel’s Coast, gold coins and more…


Archaeologists have found the wreck of a ship belonging to the Crusaders, dating back to their expulsion from Acre in the thirteenth century CE, off the coast of northern Israel.

The Crusader stronghold was destroyed in 1291 CE when the Mamluk Sultanate captured it, driving the Christian armies from the region. Golden coins dating to the era were found alongside the wreck, making it easy to pinpoint when the ship sank in the waters outside Acre, according to an article appearing in Haaretz.

Taking Acre was a major victory for the Mamluks, as Christian European forces had long used the site as a landing point for countless knights and soldiers. When Jerusalem fell out of Crusader hands after being recaptured by Saladin in 1187, Acre became the new Crusader capital in the Holy Land.

Marine archaeologists from Haifa University Prof. Michal Artzy and Dr. Ehud Galili spearheaded the investigation of the Crusader shipwreck. The ship itself suffered damage while the modern harbor of Acre was being dredged during its construction; the surviving wreckage includes some ballast-covered wooden planks, the ship’s keep, and a few sections of its hull.

Carbon dating has revealed the wood used to construct the hull dates to between 1062 CE and 1250 CE, firmly within the window for Crusader activity in the region. In addition to the associated golden coins found near the wreckage, marine archaeologists also discovered imported ceramic bowls and jugs from southern Italy, Syria, and Cyprus; corroded pieces of iron, mostly nails and anchors, were additional finds.

The biggest find, however, is certainly thought to be the gold coins found with the wreck. A total of 30 florins were found, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority’s coin expert Robert Kool; minted in the Italian republic of Florence – where the coins get their name – the florins were minted from 1252.

Speculation as to how the ship – and the florins – ended up on the bottom of Acre’s harbor is closely tied to the Siege of Acre, as historical eyewitness accounts from the event reported nobles and merchants fleeing from the besieged fortress by boat, often after bribing the owners of these boats with valuables. Many never made it out of the harbor, thought to have drowned there with their riches as the Christian defenders sought futilely to buy them some time to escape.

The Crusader fortress fell on May 18th, 1291, after more than 100 years of Frankish rule. The final defenders, a contingent of Knights Templar, refused to abandon their holdfast. As a result, when Mamluk sappers undermined the walls of the Templar fortress, the entire edifice collapsed, killing the remaining defenders – and around a hundred of the Sultan’s own soldiers as well.

The fall of Acre was the last gasp of the Christian crusades during the medieval era. Once the stronghold was taken by the Mamluks and summarily destroyed, the Catholic Church and the European nobles that supported it abandoned their quest to “liberate” the Holy Land.

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Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, gold, gold coins, Legends, Lost Treasure, Middle East, Muslims, sunken ships, treasure, treasure diver, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Strikes Gold on Sunken Treasure Hunt — Again


A Florida man literally struck gold when he unearthed a “priceless” religious artifact from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

The sunken treasure was discovered at the site of a shipwreck that happened nearly 300 years ago off the coast of Ft. Pierce. It’s the missing piece of a necklace that was discovered at the same wreck in 1989.

Called a pyx, the ornate gold trinket is a Spanish artifact used by priests to hold the communion host, Brent Brisben, the operations manager of Queens Jewels, told ABC News.

Treasure-Hunting Family Strikes Gold Off Florida Coast

“We find shipwrecked artifacts on a daily basis, but it’s more like ship spikes and musket balls, so when you get an extremely rare, unique piece like this, it’s exciting,” Brisben said.

He said 27-year-old Eric Schmitt, a professional salvager in Florida, found the piece last month on a scavenging hunt with his family. Last year, he had dug up more than $300,000 worth of gold chains and coins from the same wreckage.

PHOTO: Gold chains and coins Eric Schmitt discovered at the same shipwreck last year.

Booty Salvage
PHOTO: Gold chains and coins Eric Schmitt discovered at the same shipwreck last year.

“He found an incredible silver platter when he was 14 years old,” Brisben added.

Hunting for buried treasure is the Schmitt’s family business. They own Booty Salvage and work for Brisben’s company, which owns rights to the wreckage. Brisben also goes on treasure-hunting excursions.

“It’s incredibly difficult work,” Brisben said. “It’s long, it’s in the middle of the summer, it’s hot. You’re in the sun all day. It’s quite laborious work, so when you come across an amazing artifact like that, words can’t describe it. It’s a surreal experience to touch something from 300 years ago, to learn about it, and to share it with the world.”

PHOTO: Salvager Eric Schmitt was combing through the wreckage of a convoy of Spanish ships that sank off the coast of Florida in 1715 when he discovered a missing piece from a gold Pyx.

Courtesy 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels, LLC
PHOTO: Salvager Eric Schmitt was combing through the wreckage of a convoy of Spanish ships that sank off the coast of Florida in 1715 when he discovered a missing piece from a gold Pyx.

Spanish historians recently discovered what it was and linked it to the artifact dug up 25 years ago. The piece has not been appraised yet, but Brisben called it “priceless.”

By law, it is in the custody of the U.S. District Court in South Florida. The state can take possession of up to 20% of Brisben’s goods. Proceeds from the rest are split between his company and the Schmitt family.

The shipwreck where it was found is one of the most important in history. Several galleons packed with treasures from the New World left Havana, bound for Spain, and were taken down by a hurricane in 1715.

Categories: Archaeology, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, jewels, Legends, Lost Treasure, silver, Spanish gold, Strange News, sunken ships, treasure, treasure diver | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Capt. Karl Fismer LIVE on The Detecting Lifestyle Radio Show…


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Tomorrow night.. Tuesday February 17th, 2015.. 8:30PM EASTERN TIME..
THE DETECTING LIFESTYLE RADIO SHOW LIVE, presents…
AN EVENING WITH CAPT. CARL FISMER!!
Wide open folks, as we welcome Capt. Fizz back with us, but a little different this time!!
Capt. Carl will be live for all you good folks to talk with!!
Remember this man has done some of the most incredible things in treasure hunting!!
If you have ever wanted to talk with him, or just ask him a question, then this is GO TIME folk!!
Join us as we listen and talk with a living legend!!
Click the link below to listen live through the player tomorrow night!!

http://en.1000mikes.com/show/the_detecting_lifestyle_family

Categories: emeralds, gold, gold chains, gold coins, gold crosses, gold ingots, jewels, Mel Fisher, roman coins, silver, silver coins, Spanish gold, Strange News, sunken ships, treasure, treasure diver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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