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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Treasure hunter finds gold coins 'stacked up like poker chips' on 18th century pirate ship off Cape Cod

  • Barry Clifford and his team made discovery 1,500ft off the shore
  • Also unearthed a 300-year-old musket in wreckage 35ft beneath the surface
  • Billions of dollars worth of treasure has been found in the area
PUBLISHED: 10:19 EST, 9 September 2013 

Undersea explorers have discovered a trove of buried treasure that may lead to the discovery of more than 400,000 gold coins.

Barry Clifford and his team of archaeologists also found a musket and thousands of lead balls in the 18th century pirate ship they found off the coast of Cape Cod.

Clifford told the coins were found stacked stacked up 'like poker chips' in clumps known as concretions.
Treasure: Barry Clifford shows a concretion containing coins which was recovered around the wreckage of the Whydah, a ship that sank during a ferocious storm off Cape Cod in 1717
Explorer: Barry Clifford (pictured in 2000), has been searching the site with his team for 30 years

'There's just a tremendous amount of material on board the vessel,' he said.
They also found thousands of lead musket balls beneath the sand.

During the expedition, which culminated on September 1 they travelled 1,500 feet from the shore off Cape Cod, for a three-day expedition.
Gun: An X-ray image reveals a pistol embedded in a concretion which was found in the same wreckage as the concretion of the coins
Analysis: Barry Clifford reviews an X-ray image of a concretion showing a cannon ball and coins that diver and conservator Chris Macort had recorded in Brewster, Mass

Their mission was made difficult by thick fog which made it hard to locate the exact site.

The diver's then descended into a pit approximately 10 to 15 feet in diameter and is 35 feet below the water's surface, and their findings were fruitful.

Clifford said: 'The bag was so heavy with artifacts, coins and lead shot, that he couldn't lift anymore.
Riches: Another X-ray image reveals coins embedded in a concretion
Reconstruction: The 18th century pirate ship, Whydah, was recreated during a programme on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom

The team X-rayed the rock, and discovered it was stacked inside the sediment with coins and gold.

'That's one of the things we've been looking for,' Clifford said.
'400,000 gold coins is something we just learned in addition to that. It's crazy.'

The team are now planning to head back out on Tuesday or Wednesday to begin a three-day effort to unearth more of the plunder.

He said: 'It's a treasure trove of history.

'This is the only documented pirate treasure that's ever been discovered.'
Many of the artifacts discovered on the Whydah are on display at the Whydah Pirate Shipwreck Museum in Provincetown, Mass.

The Whydah was a slave ship that was captured by notorious pirate captain 'Black Sam' Bellamy in February 1717, just two months before it sank in 1717

SOURCE: DailyMail