Exciting New Finds!
 October 29, 2003 -- Morgan Perkins
KEY WEST - Mike Pirano and the crew of the Dauntless returned to port this week with some very exciting new finds. On Oct. 18th, the second hole of the day, our divers found 3 encrusted coin clumps, the next hole just a few feet away had a fourth clump, and yet a fifth in the next. The largest clump has ten silver cob coins fused together; the other has 6, two sets of 4, and one clump consisting of 2 coins.

This is an inspiring recovery for many reasons. The boats are currently concentrating on the Northern Trail of the wreck, our assumption, from extensive mapping of the scatter pattern and ongoing magnetometer surveys, is that the Sterncastle portion of the Atocha broke apart from the rest of the ship and was carried northward, leading to another large cultural deposit of gold, silver and personal effects. Coin clumps like these indicate that the artifacts are part of a large coin chest. In the Motherlode days, several coin chests were recovered producing thousands of high quality, well preserved coins.

It is also worth noting that while working the same area, the Dauntless recovered 12 iron spikes, providing evidence that the ship was still partially intact and being torn apart while continuing along this Northern line. The Dauntless and Magruder head out to sea, weather permitting, tomorrow and will continue excavating this extended area in hopes of bringing up the rest of that coin chest. Good luck guys, Today’s the Day!

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