A fabulous Spanish treasure is unearthed found in a galleon that was sunk 350 years ago

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A fabulous Spanish treasure is unearthed found in a galleon that was sunk 350 years ago

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Among the finds stand out three gold chains and four pendants used by the Holy Order of Santiago.

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More than 350 years later that the Spanish galleon ‘Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas’ sank 70 kilometers off the Bahamas, losing a priceless treasure at the bottom of the sea, a group of explorers saved part of the jewels and personal effects that were in the boat just before it sank.

For several centuries, the ship popularly known as “Maravillas” was the object of the desire of multiple groups of treasure hunters who wanted to obtain the precious metals that had been trapped next to the ship in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

Three and a half centuries later, the collection of salvaged pieces can be seen in the new Bahamas Maritime Museum.

A glass bottle of wine, one of the many objects that shed light on life on board the ship.  Credit: Bahamas Maritime Museum.

A glass bottle of wine, one of the many objects that shed light on life on board the ship. Credit: Bahamas Maritime Museum.

The story of the sinking of this famous ship, considered the most important of those found in the waters of the Bahamas, dates back to January 1656. At that time it was one of the great Spanish galleons that loaded the treasures extracted in American lands and transported them to Europe .

Its historical value, however, was greater than that of the rest of the ships of the time, as it intended to carry a double load to the port of Seville: the shipment of items that corresponded to it and the treasure of another Spanish expedition that was shipwrecked. nearby from Ecuador two years ago.

Filigree gold chain found in Maravillas, probably made in Manila, Philippines.

Filigree gold chain found in Maravillas, probably made in Manila, Philippines.

While attempting to return to Spain from Havana, a navigational error violently crashed the ship into a cliff reef and sink, killing around 600 crew members. Only 45 sailors managed to survive the accident.

Among the finds stand out three gold chains and four pendants used by the Holy Order of Santiago.

Among the finds stand out three gold chains and four pendants used by the Holy Order of Santiago.

Gold coins and jewelry

Due to the passage of time and the characteristics of the wreck, the remains of the ship were widely dispersed in the region. As explained by Allen Exploration, the organization responsible for the rescue, currently no part of the ship is preserved intact and the trail of debris extends for more than 13 kilometers.

Fortunately, the team of researchers led by Carl Allen, project leader, managed to collect part of the original treasure. The exhibits range from gold and silver coins and bars to jewelery made with precious metals commissioned by the Spanish high society.

Recreation of the Spanish galleon sunk in 1656.

Recreation of the Spanish galleon sunk in 1656.

In this sense, a gold chain and several earrings that combine Colombian emeralds stand out. Clusters of emeralds and amethysts were also discovered, which were part of the contraband material that sailors smuggled into the Iberian Peninsula.

On the other hand, objects of great archaeological interest have been recovered with which Allen Exploration wants to study what the daily life of sailors was like. As a result, as many dishes, vases and other everyday objects transported by the expedition as possible were saved.

Gold pendant with the Santiago Cross and an Indian bezoar stone, then appreciated in Europe for its healing properties.

Gold pendant with the Santiago Cross and an Indian bezoar stone, then appreciated in Europe for its healing properties.

Among the personal effects stand out a silver hilt of a soldier’s sword and four pendants worn by the knights of the Order of Santiago.

Gold and emerald pendant belonging to a knight of the Order of Santiago, with a Santiago cross in the center.

Gold and emerald pendant belonging to a knight of the Order of Santiago, with a Santiago cross in the center.

Source: Clarin

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