The shipwreck that sank 350 years ago has just unearthed priceless treasures

The treasures of a Spanish ship that sank 350 years ago have just been found during a scientific expedition. The value of the objects found is inestimable.

In 1956, a ship loaded with valuable jewellery set sail from Havana and was supposed to reach Spain. But a collision with a reef caused it to sink and, at the same time, its treasure to disappear. But after centuries of searching, the wreck has finally been found.

The disappearance of Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas

The Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas, or Our Lady of Wonders in English, lives up to its name. In the middle of the 17th century, this Spanish ship was supposed to reach Europe to deposit a thousand and one wonders. Problem: to reach the Old Continent, the ships passed between Florida and the Bahamas, along a path peppered with dangerous reefs that were not mapped at the time.

After hitting one of these underwater rocks, the ‘Maravillas’ disappeared. So did her treasure. Naturally, since 1656, numerous expeditions have been carriedout to find the wreck in vain. That is until Allen Exploration tried its luck.

The Allen Exploration

Founded by millionaire philanthropist Carl Allen, the Allen Exploration is a fleet consisting of three boats, a submarine and an aircraft. The diversity of these vehicles, coupled with the technology they carry, allows the fleet to meticulously search for wrecks in the waters of the Bahamas.

The Maravillas was found some 70 km off the Bahamian Bank. 350 years after it sank, the contents of its hold were scattered over almost 13 kilometres! So what treasures did she find?

According to the Smithsonian, one of the most striking objects is an ‘almost 2-pound, 6-foot-long gold filigree chain crafted from circular flat and tubular links and decorated with rosettes.’ A large number of coins, jewellery and crosses were also recovered.

However, it was not these ornaments that most moved the instigator of this expedition. Carl Allen said he felt ‘a stronger connection with everyday objects than mass-produced pieces’. He adds:

We have discovered artefacts that link to the crew and passengers.
Everything you touch, from a musket ball to a piece of jewellery, provides a link to the past for people like you and me.

Finally, these finds from another time will not add to the millionaire's already immense fortune, since the Maravillas' treasures will soon be exhibited at the Bahamas Maritime Museum.

This article was translated from GentsideFR.

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