World Bulletin / News Desk
New excavations have brought to light gold, bronze and silver coins belonging to Japan, England and Hong Kong that were found in the strongbox that sunk with the Ertugrul Frigate in 1890, in a cave 20 metres under the ocean.
In a report to Turkish magazine Radikal, the treasure was found in an area where there was no other shipwreck, the valuable treasure has been has been handed over to the Turkish Museum in Kushimoto. Under water excavations are continuing to find the strongbox itself.
Excavations began in the Pacific Ocean 6 years ago, and the discovery has caused a stir. The head of the frigate excavation Tufan Turanli is leading a team that involves eight Japanese divers, a Spanish archeologist and an American scientist. The team restarted their excavation on the 19th January.
Search in the Ocean
The Mersin Chamber of Shipping is the main sponsor of the excavation as well as communication contributions from the Turkish Airlines with the Underwater Archeological Institute, who is responsible for the excavation and rescue operation that is being conducted 100 metres from shore, and between 20 and 40 metres under water. During the excavation, gold, silver and bronze coins were found belonging to the chest that was on the ship. They had also previously found Ottoman coins.
Excavation leader Turan said that, "In the region where precious gold and was found, three days earlier we also discovered rare silver Meiji Yen that was printed in 1889. This took the interest of the researchers and the Japanese experts. There were also British, Japanese, and Hong Kong coins found in the same region. At first we thought it was strange that there were not Ottoman coins but after a little thought we saw this as normal because even today, anyone who travels would use the currency of the country they are travelling too. To this date, we have saved 7,550 worked since 2007 and have restored the entire collection.
Pieces of locks belonging to the vault were also believed to be found and are now being documented and protected. In addition, 264 pieces that were also found to belong to the sailors and the frigate were also found. The Ertugrul Research Center also said that all pieces found will undergo conservation and restoration work, and that the new pieces will join the collection that is currently on display at the Kushimoto Turkish Museum.
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