Citation
Contributions of the Florida State Museum

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Title:
Contributions of the Florida State Museum
Portion of title:
Social sciences
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Florida State Museum
Place of Publication:
Gainesville
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University of Florida
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Frequency:
Irregular
completely irregular
Language:
English
Physical Description:
16 v. : ill. ; 23 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Anthropology ( lcsh )
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Florida ( lcsh )
Anthropology ( fast )
Antiquities ( fast )
Excavations (Archaeology) ( fast )
Antiquities -- Florida ( lcsh )
Florida ( fast )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

Additional Physical Form:
Also issued online.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
No. 1 (1956)-no. 16 (1970).
General Note:
Each issue has also a distinctive title. Number 12 (1965), A 1715 Spanish Treasure Ship.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright, Florida State Museum. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
01420229 ( OCLC )
sn 91037424 ( LCCN )
ocm01420229
Classification:
GN2 .C66 ( lcc )

Full Text

FORD LIBRARY
FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM
CONTRIBUTIONS

OF THE

FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM




Social Sciences

Number 12




A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP

Carl J. Clausen


















UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Gainesville
1965











CONTRIBUTIONS


OF THE


FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM





Social Sciences

Number 12





A 7 ANIS SURE SHIP

J. Clausen





















UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Gainesville
1965























EDITOR

Ripley P. Bullen





EDITORIAL BOARD Charles H. Fairbanks
James A. Ford Ripley P. Bullen















PREFACE


"What is Past is Prelude, Study the Past"


People have been at work salvaging the wrecked ships of the Spanish Flotas ever since these vessels fell to pirate attack or hurricane centuries ago. It is only within the last decade, however, that any very successful recovery has been possible through modern electronic and SCUBA gear. This report represents one aspect of that modern salvage, an attempt to report as fully as possible what has been recovered from one wreck in the Florida coastal waters.
Wrecks of the sea have traditionally belonged to the sovereign, although everyone has dreamed that if he did ever find a treasure chest below the waves, it would be his alone. Through the four centuries of recorded Florida history the sovereign has been Spanish, English, Spanish again, and finally American. Through all these changes of dominion the treacherous waters and weather in the Straits of Florida have taken their pick of the cargoes bound through them. For the past few years a small group of dogged men have attempted to recover some record of these ships and the hardy men who sailed, and wrecked, them. The romance of Spanish gold has meant that most of the reports are designed for popular consumption and to the public's dreams of treasure trove.
In this report Carl J. Clausen has set down, in the manner of a sober archaeological report, a description of the discovery, exploration, and analysis of the material recovered from one such wreck, that of one of the ships of the Flota of 1715. In a very real sense, this is only a preliminary report. Many years of study, analysis, and comparison must pass before the full story of the 1715 fleet can be understood. The Florida State Museum welcomes this opportunity to make a contribution to a better understanding of our past as a guidepost to our future.
Charles H. Fairbanks
Curator of Anthropology
Florida State Museum















LIST OF FIGURES


Page
1. Site Location Map ------------------------------------2
2. Site Plan Locating Artifacts ----------------------------4



LIST OF PLATES


I. Miscellaneous Metal Specimens
II. Stamps on Fork Handles
III. Silver Candlestick, Brass Dividers, and Iron Rods
IV. Miscellaneous Clay and Metal Specimens
V. Barshot, Timber, and Large Iron Bars
VI. Gold Rings and Complicated Gold Chain
VII. Large Silver Ingots
VIII. Top and Bottom of Gold-Silver Alloy Ingot IX. Tops of Gold and Gold-Silver Ingots X. Silver Coins, Lima and Potosi Mints
XI. Silver Coins, Mexico Mint
XII. Reverse of Plate XI
XIII. Gold Coins, Mexico Mint XIV. Reverse of Plate XIII XV. Gold Coins from South America XVI. Gold Eight Escudo Coins XVII. Round Gold Coin, Mexico Mint, dated 1702 XVIII. Round Gold Coin, Mexico Mint, dated 1714











CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION
Location Methods
Historical Background ANALYSIS OF ARTIFACTS
Armament
Cannons ------Cannon Balls
Barshots
Musket Balls
Sword ----------------Ceramics -Majolica
Olive Jars -------- ------Large Ceramic Containers
Other Ship Related Objects
Dividers -Sounding Leads
Pewter Plate
Lead Patches and Sheets -Lead Box
Lead Stripping
Wrecking or Pry Bars
Miscellaneous Fastenings
Dead Eyes
Wood
Ballast Stones
Unidentified Objects
Dye
Treasure
Bulk Forms
Specie ----------------Gold Coins Silver Coins
jewelry
Table Silver
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS REFERENCES CITED -- ---


Page



~3


~8
8
~9 ~9 ~9 ~9 ~9 ~10 ~10 ~10 ~10 ~11 ~11 12
~12 ~12 12
12
~18 ~13 ~14 ~14 ~14 ~14 ~15 17
~19 ~22
-2-------------------23
-2-------------------24
~27
--29-----

















INTRODUCTION


During the summer of 1964 a professional salvaging group, Treasure Salvors Incorporated of Vero Beach, Florida, located and salvaged the wreck of one of the vessels of the Spanish fleet destroyed by a hurricane off the Florida East Coast in July, 1715. Working under search and salvage Lease No. 1329 and modifications issued by the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund of the State of Florida to the Real Eight Company, the salvagers recovered a considerable quantity of early eighteenth century Spanish shipboard artifacts and treasure.
This paper constitutes a report of the salvage of this vessel and a description and evaluation of the specimens salvaged. It is made possible by provisions contained in the salvage lease and supplementary directives requiring cooperation between the lessees and the State of Florida in preserving the history and archaeology of wrecks in Florida waters. The author was employed by the Trustees as a diving archaeologist to accompany the salvors and implement the preservation of scientific data from the wrecks. The help of the salvors in this task is greatly appreciated. Their continued interest in the historical and archaeological aspects of the wreck resulted in good cooperation in gathering data, often at their own expense.

LOCATION
The wreck site, designated SL-17 in the statewide archaeological site numbering system and known locally as the "Colored Beach Wreck," is located approximately three nautical miles south of the Fort Pierce Inlet at latitude 27'25.3' N. and longitude 8016.05' W. (Fig. 1). The actual site lies some 500 to 1,500 feet offshore in water varying from 8 to 20 feet in depth. Although the majority of artifacts and treasure were found in an area of approximately 78,000 square feet or just under two acres, wreckage of the ship covered at least two additional acres of bottom area.
The ocean bottom in the area is sandy with occasional outcroppings of local limestone (Anastasia formation), which include beds of shell or coquina rock. Wide grooves in the limestone, running









A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


generally parallel to the beach in this area, are filled with sand beds varying in depth from a few inches to more than five feet. The surface of the rock in these sand-protected hollows is extremely rough and jagged. The texture of the exposed outcroppings is considerably softer and offers a footing for a variety of shallow-water marine growth.
Remnants of the ship and its cargo lay throughout the four-ormore-acre area of the site but seemed concentrated principally in the area illustrated in Figure 2. Although some of these remains, well camouflaged by various types of marine growth, were lying on the higher exposed areas of limestone, the vast majority of the


CAPE
KENNEDY






LBOURN E










VE R0
BEACH

N

F T. INLET
P E RC WRECK





STUA T
LAKE
OKEECHOB E


(
4


15 MI LES


Fig. 1. Map of part of east Florida locating wreck site.


I


MAP AREA


2









INTRODUCTION


material was deep beneath the sand overburden in the broad hollows between these ridges.

METHODS
Salvage of materials at the site was accomplished by divers working with a variety of water pumping and dredging systems and utilizing both surface-supplied and self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. The working platform was a modified 50-foot Navy launch converted to this type of work by the salvage company.
The principal excavating system, although its exact nature must by agreement remain secret, was a new application of an old concept for pumping large, but at the same time controlled, quantities of water. It was capable of clearing an 8- by 10-foot bole through as much as 4 to 6 feet of sand, mud, and loose rock in 10 minutes.
Horizontal control was maintained during most of the operation by a grid system (Fig. 2). It utilized as one base line or axis an approximate east-west line drawn between the cascabels of two of the wreck's scattered cannon. The other axis was drawn at right angles to the first, through the cascabel of the shoreward cannon in an approximate north-south direction. These two lines were established in reality with lengths of /8 inch chain. As excavation of the area progressed, additional lengths of chain, lying parallel to the above base lines at 25 foot intervals, were leapfrogged outward. The location of principal artifacts was recorded in relation to the nearest chains on graph paper as soon as practicable during or after recovery. Approximate locations were resorted to for items (mostly specie) recovered prior to the institution of this control.
Almost all wreck material encountered, with the exception of ballast stones and cannon, was removed. The basic commercial nature of the salvage operation precluded the locating of such numercially plentiful and relatively uniformly scattered objects as individual cannon balls, ballast stones, or olive jar sherds.
The control system described above was admittedly somewhat crude in comparison with recent, but purely scientific, underwater excavations conducted in the Mediterranean off the Turkish coast by George Bass (1964: 83-88). However, it was readily established and proved adaptable to both the circumstances of an already underway commercial salvage operation and the rather limited visibility encountered for most of the year in the waters off Fort Pierce. In light of the above, and of the jumbled relationship of the parts and


3










A D DIT 10NA L
CAN NON 149 FT.
WEST OF CANNON
"A AT 261*


D VICE O









DEAD EYES


NS AXIS

--CANNON BALLS




LARGE DEAD EYE-


CANNON BAL

g


l--LARGJ IRON BAR


'WRECKING BARS

GOLD DISCS


SILVER BAR


TO SHORE


SCATTERED MATERI AL


r--


TWO A D DI TIONAL e CANNON A CANNONS SEVERAL


SHARDS OF


HUNDRED FEET NORTH




LARGE CERAMIC VESSFI


S IVER PLATE


-SI LVER PLATE


m


~- ~ MOUTH OF
LARGE CERAMIC
VESSEL
C.' (plainr)


,P E


WTER PLATE MAJ LICA SHERD S I


Ap -BAR SHOT CUI OMLDICAINS
orged) UNIDENTIFIED IRON DIVIDERS COMPL CATED
MEMBER

S I LVER DISCS

SWORD HANDLE SILVER FREE FORMS u <-COMPLICATED GOLD CHAIN
AG
FO RKS', I -L ARDE CERAM IC SHER D


DIV IDERS C W ) S S
GOLD CHAINS GOLD AND SILVER
-DISCS /
BAR SHOT SOUDING CANNON B LEADS
SMALL (dated 1712)
SHOT
,-A CANNO N
CANNB ALLS L 50 FEET
L ARGE I RON










KEY
SCATTERED MATER IAL S 50 UNITS SILVER COIN

S 500 UNITS SILVER COIN g 50 UNITS GOLD COIN G 500 UNITS GOLD COIN

Fig. 2. Plan of wreck site locating artifacts.









INTRODUCTION


contents of ships wrecked this close to shore, the system seemed adequate.
As the work of recovery progressed, specie and other forms of precious metal as well as those artifacts of high intrinsic value were removed to vault security at a local bank. Iron objects were covered with varying amounts of a hard, iron-impregnated, shell and sand crust or cortex. Identification of most of these encrusted specimens was of course impossible. Occasionally, more robust examples could be mechanically cleaned and examined, but this procedure was considered imprudent for the smaller, more fragile objects. Such artifacts were transferred to the Anthropology Laboratory at the University of Florida where they are currently undergoing desalination and preservation. The balance of the recovered material, including a selected sample of cleaned iron artifacts, is treated descriptively in this report.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Salvaged material, particularly specie, indicated with little doubt that this wreck represented the remains of one of the vessels comprising the Spanish fleet destroyed by a hurricane off the Florida East Coast in 1715. To add perspective to the report, a brief review of the fleet system utilized by Spain and a synopsis of the available historical sources concerning the loss of this fleet have been included.
The "flota system," of which these vessels were a part, ideally consisted of merchant vessels escorted by heavily armed warships. This system was put into use by Spain in the sixteenth century to maintain certain trade policies and to discourage the attacks of belligerents and pirates on ships returning to Spain from the New World.
Generally, each year two fleets were dispatched in company from Spain to the Caribbean area. One fleet, the Tierra Firme Armada or the galeones, sailed to Cartagena in present-day Colombia and later to the Ishmus of Panama where it picked up goods and treasure brought northward up the coast from Peru by the Pacific armada, or Armada del Mar del Sur, and carried on muleback to Porto Bello on the Caribbean. The other fleet, the Nueva Esparia Armada, or the flota, sailed to Vera Cruz in Mexico where it loaded goods and treasure from New Spain as well as silks, spices, and china from the Orient brought by the Manila galleons to Acapulco, and carried overland by mule to Vera Cruz. In the summer the two fleets would


5









A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


assemble in Havana and sail northward up the Bahama Channel past St. Augustine before turning to the east for the long voyage to Seville or Cadiz (Schurz 1939: 403-04).
In theory, the flota was an annual affair, but interruptions and delays were common and sailings became increasingly irregular. The system was gradually replaced by the use of registros, ships licensed to sail independently of these convoys, until its extinction in the mid-seventeen hundreds (Worcester and Schaeffer 1956: 47, 314, 346).
The fleet sunk off the Florida coast in 1715, according to the account gathered from contemporary sources by Spanish historian Fernandez Duro (1900: Vol. 6, 121-26), was comprised of the ships of the flota or New Spain Armada which had made up in Cadiz under the command of Don Juan Esteban de Ubilla following the close of hostilities of the War of Spanish Succession, and of the registros of Don Antonio de Echeverz y Zubiza, which had joined Ubilla's fata in Havana. This combined fleet sailed for Spain from Havana on the 27th of July, 1715. Three days later while proceeding up the Bahama Channel they were overtaken by a hurricane.
Of the 11 ships in the convoy only one survived. This was the French Grifon, commanded by Don Antonio Darie, which had apparently been forced to sail with the flota from Vera Cruz to maintain the secrecy of the fleet's movements. Ubilla's entire flota, including his Capitana and the Ahnirantaj two accompanying pataches or tenders, and the Urca de Lima, along vith three of Echeverz's registry vessels, including his Ahniranta, the Concepcion commanded by his son, and the Holandesa, were wrecked in the shallow waters off "Palmar de Ayx" near Cape Canaveral (present-day Cape Kennedy). Two additional registros, the vessels La Francesa and San Miguel, were lost at sea. Over a thousand persons, including General Ubilla. and some 14,000,000 pesos worth of treasure were lost.
Spanish salvage efforts, which continued for several years, got underway quickly after news of the disaster reached Havana. The governor in Havana placed the responsibility for the recovery on Juan del Hoyo Solorzano, who, utilizing a frigate and seven sloops, sailed to Florida and quickly returned to Havana with over 4,000,000 pesos worth of treasure.

Capitana and Almiranta were terms applied to command vessels of an individual fleet (in addition to their regular names) which carried the general or "over all" commander and the admiral or second in command respectively.


6








INTRODUCTION


Such recovery operations were continually hampered by persons unlawfully "fishing" on the wrecks and by the attacks of pirates. Fernandez Duro (1900: Vol. 6, 126-27) reports that the pirate Henry Jennings, commanding five vessels and some 600 men, landed and attacked a Spanish salvage camp, possibly represented by the Higgs site (Smith 1956: 88-94). Jennings routed the defenders and seized some 340,000 pesos of treasure.
Another reference to the wrecks of the fleet is found in Bernard Romans' Concise Natural History of East and West Florida and accompanying charts, printed in 1775. Writing over 50 years after the disaster, he (Romans 1775: 273-74) mentions the wrecks south of Cape Canaveral (Kennedy), but erroneously gives their number as 15 although he does confirm the escape of a French ship. On his accompanying chart of the area, a note to the west of the San Sebastian River (present Sebastian Creek) reads: "Opposite this River perished the Admiral commanding the Plate Fleet 1715. The rest of the Fleet 14 in number between this and the Bleech Yard." The "Bleech Yard" referred to in the note is located on Romans' map some 45 miles south of the Sebastian River at the base of a small peninsula dividing the St. Lucie River from the Indian River near present St. Lucie Inlet. It is described by Romans (1775: 286) as being a high hill full of white spots, a remarkable landmark.
Positive identification as to which vessel of the fleet the wreck represents is lacking. That the majority of the material in the category of treasure can be traced to Mexico may indicate that the wreck was one of the vessels of the flota sailing from Vera Cruz rather than one of the registros of Echeverz. The small size of the cannon at the site probably indicates the vessel was not large.
The historical documents already mentioned are of little aid in this respect. Fernandez Duro's (1900: Vol. 6, 126) account gives a hint of location in the case of only one vessel, the Urca de Lima, which was reported wrecked at the mouth of a river, probably an inlet or pass into the Indian River. Romans' (1775: 274) also gives the location of but one of the wrecks, reportedly that of a hired Dutch ship, as lying directly before the mouth of the Indian River Inlet. It is likely that identification, if it is possible, will have to await the translation of documents known to exist in Seville, Simancas, and Madrid which deal with investigations carried out by the Spanish into circumstances surrounding the disaster.















ANALYSIS OF ARTIFACTS


Cannons ARMAMENT
Five iron cannon were located at the wreck site. All were muzzleloading smooth-bore weapons typical of the period and capable of firing a variety of projectiles. Two of these guns were used as base points in the horizontal control system (Fig. 2). None of the guns were raised, because of complications involved in preservation, and only the two mentioned above were examined in any detail.
Both pieces could be correctly styled "cannon' as they displayed proportions placing them in that category of artillery (Manucy 1955: 36; Potter 1960: 97). These cannon appeared to be of the surprisingly "clean lined" design found in some late seventeenth and early eighteenth century cast iron guns. They closely resemble, except for size, a 1693 piece illustrated in Manucy's (1955: Fig. 27) Artillery Through the Ages.
Cannon A, 7 feet 2 inches long, lay on its back, muzzle pointing approximately northwest. When first examined, a portion of a wooden tampion was still in the muzzle. Bore diameter was estimated at 3 to 3/? inches.
Cannon B, 7 feet 9 inches long, was located 172.5 feet east of Cannon A. It lay canted slightly to the right with muzzle pointing northeast. Bore diameter on this piece was also 3 to 3% inches.
A third cannon lay 149 feet west of Cannon A. Two others located by magnetometer lay several hundred feet north of Cannon A.

Cannon Balls
Seventy-nine examples of cannon balls or cast iron round shot, all of approximately the same size, plus three smaller examples were recovered. The larger size shot, cast in two-piece molds, averaged 3 pounds 8 ounces in weight and approximately 3 1/16 inches in diameter. These were interpreted with little doubt as solid shot for the cannons described above.
The three smaller shot, measuring 2, 2%, and 21/2 inches, with weights for the last two examples of 1 pound 5.8 ounces and 1 pound 13 ounces, were probably solid shot for a smaller, unlocated cannon.








ANALYSIS OF ARTIFACTS


Barshots
At least nine examples of bar shot were raised from the site. Three examples were turned over for preservation to the Anthropology Laboratory at the University of Florida. A 6 to 9 pound barshot like those described below is basically two projectiles rigidly joined by an iron bar. When fired from a small 3 to 4 pounder, a spinning 10 to 14 inch barshot becomes a formidable projectile capable of creating havoc among the masts and rigging of another ship.
Two types were found at the wreck (Pl. V). Seven specimens were of a rather crude, heavy type, apparently formed by winding and forging strap iron around the ends of the square center bar until the desired diameter was reached to fit the gun tube. Their average weight was 9 pounds. Two examples of the second variety consisted of iron spheres much like round shot cast over the ends of a square forged iron bar. This variety weighed about 6 pounds.

Musket or Pistol Balls
Approximately 80 cast lead balls were interpreted as projectiles for pistols or muskets. Seventy-eight examples were approximately .59 caliber and weighed .78 ounce each. Two smaller specimens measured .47 caliber.
All of these shot displayed a raised casting ridge, indicating use of a two-piece mold. Sprues were clipped off parallel to this ridge.

Sword
A single heavily encrusted sword handle and section of blade was found (Pl. IV, upper, B). X-rays revealed an "S"-shaped quillon and semicircular knuckle bow running from the juncture of the handle and hilt to the pommel. An oval-shaped pas d'anes extended ahead of the hilt on one side of the blade. This sword hilt is illustrated along with an X-ray photo in Wagner's (1965: 31) National Geographic article.
CEAMICS
Majolica
A single roughly triangular sherd appeared to be Colombia Plain majolica (Goggin 1950: 24). The occurrence of a single sherd of Colombia Plain majolica on a 1715 wreck is interesting as the ter-


9








A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


minus for this type is generally felt to be in the 1630-1660 period (Goggin 1950: 26).

Olive Jars
Approximately 106 sherds, including two vessel mouths, of olive jars or Spanish botifuelas were collected (Pl. IV, A). These were fragments of the round-bottomed, more-or-less egg-shaped earthenware descendants of the amphora-style vessels of the Mediterranean area. The olive jar was the common Spanish container of the period and although utilized principally for the transport of liquids such as olive oil, wine, honey, and water, they were also used to ship olives, garbanzos or chick peas, and even lard.
The average vessel wall thickness of 11 mm. and the details of the two recovered mouths agree with data for olive jars of the 15801800 period as described by Goggin (1960a). The 1715 date of the wreck is, of course, near the middle of this time period. The 105 and 108 mm. outside diameters of the mouths would place at least some of these vessels in Goggin's longer, slightly larger, Style A jars (Goggin 1960a: 14).

Large Ceramic Containers
Secured at the site were 11 body sherds and one complete mouth of what appeared to be the remains of at least two extremely large vessels, perhaps shipboard water or oil containers (Pl. IV, lower). The mouth was approximately 41 cm. outside and 32 cm. inside diameter. Vessels walls ranged from 24 to 30 mm. in thickness. Paste varied from a soft buff color to a harder orange hue. Temper was quartzitic sand. Several fragments displayed a wavy, four line incised or combed design (Pl. IV, lower, B).
From a partial reconstruction using the mouth and a number of large sherds emerges an estimate of a vessel perhaps 1.5 meters high and 1 meter in diameter. Goggin (1960a: 30, Fig. 4, a) mentions larger vessels of this size but with a yellow glaze, and has illustrated a similarly shaped rim from such a vessel.

OTHER SHIP RELATED OBJECTS
Dividers
Four pairs of brass navigational dividers were retrieved (Pl. III). Three of these examples were of an interesting ring-topped design.


10








ANALYSIS OF ARTIFACTS


When the points were moved apart on this type of instrument, the semicircular portions of the elements, which formed the hinged ring at the top of the pair, moved through one another. Two pairs of this type were complete. One pair measured when closed 106 mm. long with a ring at top 41 mm. in diameter; points were 62 mm. long. The second pair was somewhat smaller, 92 mm. long. The third pair apparently had had steel tips, now corroded away. This type of divider is occasionally seen depicted on old maps (Tooley 1962: Plate 97); and Potter (1960: facing 409) has illustrated a similar pair found by Teddy Tucker in Bermuda waters, presumably also from a Spanish ship.
A fourth pair was of quite different design. It opened in a conventional manner and also was originally steel tipped. From the hinge at top to the V-shaped cuts for the steel tips, the length was 122 mm.

Sounding Leads
Three sounding leads were found (Pl. I, D). Two of these examples, more crudely made than the third, were tapering, more-orless eight-sided, leads weighing 18 and 18% pounds and measuring 41.8 and 44.3 cm. respectively. At the thinner top of each weight was a 12 to 14 mm. hole for attaching a line, while the bottom surface displayed a depression for tallow or pitch. Scratched into the side of the smaller specimen and written backward was the Roman numeral "IVXX" (not illustrated).
The third weight was well made and sharply octagonal, closely resembling modern varieties. Although about two pounds heavier, this example was shorter, measuring only 39.4 cm. in length. About a third of the distance from the bottom, chiseled into the lead in digits some 20 mm. high, was the date "1712," underneath which, on the adjacent side, was the number "20" followed by a sign somewhat resembling an "H" (Pl. I, D, lower).

Pewter Plate and Fragments
Included in the collections were one whole but bent example and five rim fragments of pewter plates (Pl. IV, upper, C). The plate measured 24.1 cm. in diameter and had the same wide rim and bottom design found in the silver plates discussed later.
The plate and several of the recovered fragments varied in rim


11









A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


decoration, but all had a thickened rim with one or more parallel lines just inside. Because of the material, these objects have been included here.

Lead Patches and Sheet Lead
One roughly rectangular sheet lead patch was 52 mm. wide, 184 mm. long, and 4 mm. thick (P. IV, above D). This apparently had been attached by ten 5 mm. square fastenings.
Four other sheet lead items ranged from a roll of lead 43.7 cm. wide, less than 1 mm. thick, and of unknown length, to smaller rolls of thicker lead (PI. IV, below D).

Lead Box
One crushed lead box, originally more-or-less square, measured approximately 56 mm. on a side (PI. IV, E). Seams were closed by what appeared to be soldering, except along one side where a split had occurred and the contents had escaped. This specimen may possibly not be related to the wreck but is included in the collection.

Lead Stripping
Three pieces of lead stripping ranged in length from 70 to 222 mm. These strips may have been cames for securing glass in cabin windows or sky lights.

Wrecking or Pry Bars
Two similar examples of pry or wrecking bars were salvaged. One specimen, square forged, was about 35 mm. across at the thickest point with a taper toward the handle (P. III, lowest). It was just under a meter in length. The flattened prying end was some 65 mm. wide with a central notch 30 mm. deep.

Miscellaneous Fastenings
When examples of the encrusted iron material recovered from the site were mechanically cleaned, many of the specimens could be interpreted as wrought iron structural fastenings. Although most revealed distortion and bending attributable to the breaking up of the ship, they appeared to fall into three general groups on the basis of length.


12








ANALYSIS OF ARTIFACTS


The shortest examples were approximately 50 cm. long with shanks 30 mm. in diameter. Occasionally pieces of this length displayed a definite taper along their length to a diameter of 20 to 25 mm.
A second common length appeared to be around 70 cm., also with a diameter of 30 mm. Most of these had an expanded head and were bluntly pointed at the other end. Numerous examples of this type, when cleaned, revealed a caulking collar of what appeared to be pitch-impregnated fiber about the shank just below the head.
The third size, represented by only a few examples, was about a meter long. The diameter, slightly greater than the previous groups, was just over 30 mm. Head diameter was larger, reaching 44 mm. in one specimen measured. Ends were bluntly pointed.

Dead Eyes
Two examples of dead eyes were found. The largest example was 35 cm. across and approximately 18 cm. thick. Three holes about 38 mm. in diameter passed through the wooden center portion. The center was secured in a loop of round iron stock, 30 mm. in diameter. Attached to the base of this loop was a link, 43 cm. long, made of the same stock. Another link, similar but 64 cm. long, joined the end of the first. From the size and strength of this dead eye, one can assume it joined the exterior of the hull, forming an anchor for part of the standing rigging bracing one of the masts.
The smaller dead eye was not completely cleaned of encrustation; but it was apparently anchored by a long section of strap iron, 45 mm. wide by 13 mm. thick. The three holes through the approximately 80 mm. thick wooden center were just under 30 mm. in diameter and placed on approximately 60 mm. centers.

Wood
Actual wooden remains of the ship were very scarce, a factor reflecting the destructive activities of various marine organisms coupled with the onslaught of the sea. A total of perhaps five badly worm-eaten fragments, ranging from 15 to 100 cm. in length, were recovered. In some cases there was evidence that the piece had been preserved by proximity to iron, the salts of which had apparently somewhat deterred the action of worms (Pl. V, middle).


I.,









A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


Ballast Stone
Considerable quantities of ballast stone littered the entire wreck site, but appeared more heavily concentrated in the area shown in Figure 2. The stones varied in size from about 2.5 to 28 cm., and represented various kinds of rocks. The usual example was a waterrounded rock about 12 by 18 cm.

Unidentified Objects
Two examples of large objects (Pl. V, lower) were extremely heavy iron bars, weighing an estimated 60 to 80 pounds. Approximately 90 mm. square in cross section and 76 cm. long, both examples had holes around 25 mm. in diameter through one end. One example had a four-sided blunt point which appeared to be the only major difference between the two.
A third specimen was a 1.22 meters long, forged member with an 18 cm. long cross bar at one end (Pl. III, middle). This cross bar had in each end a hole 12 mm. in diameter running parallel to the long axis of the main member. The other end of the long bar came to a tapering but blunt point. About 17 cm. back from this point the bar passed through a more-or-less square 50 mm. collar.
A flat rectangular iron object, 178 mm. long and approximately 63 mm. wide, had a rectangular center hole 72 by 23 mm. Across each end were three more-or-less square holes. The outside holes measured about 8 mm. square, and the middle bole on each end,
8 by 12 mm.

Dye
Some fragments of red-orange material were found which may have been dye.
TREASURE
A quantity of the recovered material may be categorized as treasure. Included are examples of gold and silver (and alloys of these metals) in bulk form, a broad sample of Spanish Colonial gold and silver coinage from the last years of the seventeenth and first 15 years of the eighteenth centuries, as well as a variety of gold jewelry, silver plates and other items.


14








ANALYSIS OF ARTIFACTS


Round Formi Bulk Precious Metals
The prevalent form for precious metals in bulk was a circularshaped ingot with a round bottom (Pls. VII-IX), evidently formed either by allowing the molten metal to cool in a crucible with a moreor-less hemispherically shaped bottom or by pouring the metal into a similarly shaped mold, perhaps made of stone. The rough porous bottom of most of the examples, and one ingot which displays an almost twin bottom, tend to support the latter explanation. In this category were six discs of silver or high silver content (Pl. VII, upper) and six examples and fragments with high gold content (Pl. IX). They ranged in diameter from 241 mm. for the largest of the silver discs weighing approximately 27 pounds (Pl. VII, upper), to the smallest, a gold disc 98 mm. in diameter and weighing 1 pound 15 ounces (Pl. IX, left).
Markings were found on the top surfaces of all the discs with high gold content. Only the largest of the silver discs was so marked. The stamps on the largest gold discs consisted of Roman numerals which might or might not be followed by from one to three small circles. For example, a gold disc weighing approximately 8 pounds 5 ounces, was stamped "XII" followed by two circles arranged one above the other (Pl. VIII). Another (Pl. IX, right), which weighed about 7 pounds, was marked "X" followed by three circles triangularly arranged. A third, 7 pounds 3 ounces in weight, was marked "XI" followed by three circles as well as a ragged assayer's bite. Of two others, both small, one was marked "XIII" followed by one circle.
The smallest gold disc (Pl. IX, left) deserves special attention as it was stamped five times with three stamps. First was a large octagonal stamp, measuring 19 mm. across, near the center of the disc. Inside and slightly below the center of the stamp was a large "S," approximately 7 mm. high, surmounted by a crown. To the left of the "S," level with its center, was a small letter "m" above and below which were round unidentified figures, possibly rosettes. To the right at the same level was a small letter "o" with the same round figures above and below. These central devices were contained in a border consisting of two ridges, one inside the other, separated by a series of dots.
A second stamp, measuring approximately 13 mm. across the die, contained the Roman numerals "XXII," below a small crown. The


15








A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


disc was struck twice with this stamp, above and below the large central stamp just described. The third stamp, used both to the right and the left, consisted of a shield-shaped die measuring approximately 8 by 12 mm. The figures inside this stamp were unclear, but a small crown was discernible at the top.
All of these stamps, by virtue of the crowns, seem to be royal stamps. The "m" and "o" characters in the large center stamp probably identify the piece as originating in, or of having passed through, the mint at Mexico City. F. Xavier Calico of Barcelona, president of the International Association of Professional Numismatists (personal communication), feels that the large "S" in the center stamp may indicate the piece dates from around 1700 when Jose Sarmiento was Viceroy of New Spain. McNickle (1961), in his report on a silver bar found in the Bahamas, refers to royal seals with a crown which were used on ingots which had not yet passed through the royal foundry and upon which royal dues were still owing. The Roman numeral stamp "XXII" probably indicates the gold content of the disc in carats. While the unclear nature of the shield-shaped third stamp restricts identification, the presence of the crown at the top probably indicates another type of royal seal.
Recently received spectographic analyses indicate most examples were of an approximately half-gold, half-silver alloy. Since all of these received at least one assayer's bite or bocado, these markings are interpreted as indications of the purity of the gold in quilates or carats, with the small circles indicating grains, of which there were four per carat (Burzio 1958: Vol. 2, 282-83). Considering the relatively low gold content of these discs, they may represent a stage in the refining of the metal.
Examples of silver discs included the largest (Pl. VII, upper), 241 mm. in diameter, whose pitted upper surface was marked "1659" or "1699", "0 123o," and "MI" in three rows. This disc appeared to be made of gold but the analysis showed over 90 per cent silver. The other five silver discs varied from 114 to 216 mm. in diameter, from 13 to 38 mm. in thickness except for the smallest which was very thin, and weighed from 1 pound 3 ounces to 22 pounds 14 ounces. None of these showed any apparent markings.

Bar Form
A single silver bar weighed 35 pounds 8% ounces and averaged 397 mm. in length, 127 mm. in width, and 51 mm. in thickness (Pl.


16








ANALYSIS OF ARTIFACTS


VII). The ingot was thickest in the center on the underside and thinned rapidly toward the ends. On the top surface in the upper left hand quarter was stamped "UUCCCLVCEVALLUS" and, in larger size, "XC." An additional unclear mark below the stamp might be a crown. There did not appear to be any assayer's bite.

Free Form
These objects were of high silver content, and in one case, of high gold content. They appeared as flat "puddles" of these metals with no regular shape. Eleven silver examples weighed together 5 pounds 4 ounces. The single example with high gold content was slightly thicker than the silver examples, measuring approximately 89 by 70 mm. and weighing 1 pound 3 ounces. The significance of these is not clear but they may represent a step in refining.

Specie
Slightly more than 3,700 gold coins and over 200 pounds of silver coins were recovered in the excavations at the Colored Beach wreck. Although the silver was in general damaged as a result of electrolytic action, the gold coins, due to the low position of gold in the electromotive series of metals, were found in excellent condition, unharmed by the action of the sea.
The salvaged specimens represented an extremely broad sample of Spanish Colonial coinage struck at all mints operating in the New World during the last years of the reign of Charles 11 (1665-1700), and the first 15 years of the first reign of Philip V (1700-1724). Several factors contributed to making this discovery a highly significant numismatic find. The gold coins were in a generally uncirculated condition, and included denominations and types previously unknown or for which only a few examples were known to exist. This was true in the case of all the mints, but particularly for those at Bogota and Cuzco. The sheer quantity of coins, although predominantly from the mint at Mexico City, should permit the extraction of important data concerning dies and minting practices.
These coins as a whole have not been examined by an expert, although the salvors have announced plans to give information concerning them to Senor F. Xavier Calico of Barcelona, an expert in the field of Spanish Colonial issues. It is not the author's intention to attempt an evaluation of these coins here, but it is felt that a brief


17









A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


report treating the coins descriptively and containing some pertinent comment is within the scope of this paper.
Coins struck in New World mints during this period were in general of the irregularly shaped macuquina or "cob" variety. The term "cob" was probably derived from the Spanish cabo de barra, or end of the bar, which was descriptive of a step in the manufacture of the coins during which individual planchets or flans were clipped in succession from the end of a strip of metal (Pradeau 1938: 42). These irregular blanks, after being trimmed to the proper weight, were placed between two iron or steel dies into which designs for the coins had been driven, utilizing a variety of puncheons. When forcefully struck, the dies were driven into the metal producing the finished coins. Most of the examples of this type of coinage display only a portion of the design of the die and only infrequently the date (McNickle 1962: 7), due to the careless manner in which they were struck and to the fact that in most cases the engraving on the dies covered a much larger area than did the flat surface of the planchet.
The size and particularly the shape of the coins during this period were of little consequence. An effort was made, however, supported by royal decree, to impress the mint mark and assayer's initials on the the coins (Pradeau 1938: 30-31).
Silver, during the period covered by the sample of coins, was minted in the New World in denominations of %, 1, 2, 4, and 8 reals (Pls. XI-XII). At this time approximately 68 reals were struck from a mark of silver weighing 230 grams or one-half pound. Gold, valued at 16 reals to 1 escudo, was minted in denominations of 1, 2, 4 and 8 escudos (Pls. XIII-XIV). The 8 escudo was also the doblon, equalling 16 eight real pieces or "pieces of eight." For comparative purposes the real may be given an approximate value of 12% cents.
Spanish Colonial coinage at times has enjoyed great influence in other parts of the world, particularly in the Philippines and the Far East, but most importantly perhaps on the currency of the United States where the first continental currency was made payable in Spanish 8 real pieces or milled dollars (Pradeau 1938: 7). The 2 and 4 real pieces became known as "two bits" and "four bits" respectively in the United States.


18








ANALYSIS OF ARTIFACTS


Gold Coins
Mexico Mint
Approximately 88 per cent of the gold coins were struck in the mint at Mexico City. Coining operations began at this mint in 1536, although regular issues of gold coins did not begin until 1679. From its inception, the mint operated more-or-less as a private enterprise until incorporated by decree into the royal treasury in 1732 (Pradeau 1938: 23-27).
Coins struck in this mint during the period under consideration bore on the obverse a shield on which appeared the arms of territories then under Spanish rule (Pl. XIII). To the right of the shield the denomination of the coin was given in Roman numerals for gold (Pl. XIII) and in Arabic for silver. On the left were the mint mark and the assayer's initial. The legend around the coin read "Philippus V (or Carlos II) D. G. (date)."
The reverse (Pl. XIV) bore a centered cross, usually of the Jerusalem variety, enclosed in a tressure of varying design. Around the outside was a continuation of the legend from the obverse, "Hispaniarum et Indiarum Rex."
Of the approximately 758 Mexico mint coins of all denominations in the State of Florida's 25 per cent share of the total sample, just over 2 per cent were coined during the reign of Charles II (Pl. XVI, lower). These coins bore on the obverse that monarch's crest, a modification of the great shield of the House of Hapsburg. Of this small percentage, one example (not illustrated) was an undated 4 escudo piece, a denomination not mentioned among those minted during the reign of Charles II by either Burzio or Pradeau. Only two examples are pictured in the Catalogo de la Media Onza by Lopez-Chavez (1962: 43, type 1).
In 1700 Charles II, a Hapsburg, died without issue and named Philip IV of Anjou, a Bourbon, to succeed him. The accession to the throne of this monarch touched off a prolonged and bitter war among the European powers known as the War of Spanish Succession.
Mexico mint coins dating from after 1700 are easily identifiable as they bear the Bourbon escutcheon of the now Philip V of Spain superimposed on the still further modified Hapsburg shield. This crest remained basically unchanged until some time in 1714 when the Bourbon escutcheon of three fleur-de-lis on the crest was enlarged, and further modifications in the balance of the crest were made to


19








A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


better harmonize the new design. Coins minted in 1714 and until some years later had this easily identified crest displaying a shortened Austrian fess, curving bendlets of the Low Countries, and a complete absence of the lower right hand castle of Castile. This can be seen by contrasting the upper and lower rows of Plate XIII or Plate XVII with Plate XVIII. The reverse of the coins, although somewhat variable during the period of use of the first crest, now had a more standardized form (PI. XIV, lower) with connected crescent-shapes surrounding the cross throughout all denominations. There were also 8 escudo examples made in 1714 with the date on the reverse side.
Of the Mexico mint coins in the State's 25 per cent, about 45 per cent were undated but fell into the 1700 to 1713 period. Seven per cent were dated between 1702 and 1713 but concentrated in the years 1711-1713. This concentration probably indicated when the majority of the undated coins were minted. Coins dated 1714 and 1715 made up slightly more than 45 per cent of the Mexico mint coins in the State's share. These dates probably reflected a lack of large fleet movements to Spain during the three or four years prior to 1715.
Of special interest was the presence of a number of almost perfectly round coins struck at the Mexico mint (Pls. XVII-XVIII). These were exceptions to the general "cob" or macuquina type of coinage and special attention apparently was given to their production.
The following examples of nearly round gold coins were recovered: a single 8 escudo piece of Charles II dated 1695, ten 8 escudo pieces of Philip V dated 1702 (Pl. XVII), a single 4 escudo piece of Philip V dated 1713, five 8 escudo coins of Philip V dated 1714 which displayed the modified crest (Pl. XVIII), and a 1 escudo piece of Philip V with the modified crest dated 1714. The existence of these nearly round specimens from the Mexican mint is acknowledged by both Pradeau (1938: 52 and Pl. 4) and Burzio (1958: Vol. 2, 62, 90); more recently, by Leopoldo Lopez-Chavez (1961: types 3 and 4; 1962: type 2, 43). No full round silver coins were found, although such specimens appear to have been fairly common during this period. Numerous examples are illustrated by Pradeau (1938: Pls. 2, 3, 5), dating back even to the reign of Philip II, and in the Diccionario de la Moneda Hispanoamericana (Burzio 1958: Plate LV, Nos. 393-94, 396).
No convincing explanation for the existence of any of these circular coins, either gold or silver, has been advanced. It has been suggested that they were fashioned for some special ceremony or


20








ANALYSIS OF ARTIFACTS


for the king as favors. Another expert has suggested the coins may have been struck to prove for some reason the ability of the Mexico mint to do so. Perhaps they were first strikes of particularly fine dies or were struck on order for some purpose.

Lima Mint (Peru)
The mint at Lima struck gold coins from the year 1696, in the reign of Charles II, and in that portion of the reign of Philip V covered by this collection, in denominations of 1, 2, 4, and 8 escudos. These coins consistently appeared to have been manufactured to higher standards than the coins of any other colonial mint of the time. The design of the coins, although quite different from those of the Mexico mint, did not change appreciably from the late 1690's through the first years of the reign of Philip V.
The coins bore on the obverse the Jerusalem cross with the upper left hand and lower right hand quarters occupied by castles and the upper right hand and lower left hand quarters by lions inside a circle of dots and surrounded by the legend "Charles II (or Philip V), D. G. Hispa (or Hispaniar)" (Pl. XVI, upper). The reverse (Pl. XV) carried the columns of Hercules rising from the sea in front of two horizontal lines. Above the top line in the left hand corner was the initial of the mint, "L," between the columns the value of the coin in Arabic, and to the right the initial of the assayer. On the second line were the initials "P V A," the abbreviation for the motto "Plus Ultra," and the last three digits of the date just above the waves of the sea. Above the pillars was a crown from the sides of which extended a series of dots, circular in shape, encompassing all of the above symbols. The legend around the above series of dots, "Et Indiarum Rex," a continuation of that from the obverse, was enclosed in a similar dot circle. Certain issues had the inscription reversed as to the obverse and reverse of the coin.
The single escudo coins were a variant and appeared with a single castle and the mint initial on the left, assayer's initial on the right, and the last three numerals of the date below (Pl. XV, upper right). Reverse had a simple cross in joined semicircular design.

Santa Fe de Bogota Mint (Colombia)
This mint may have been the first in the New World to regularly coin gold, but very little positive data seems to be available concern-


21








A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


ing minting practices until well into the eighteenth century. One and two escudo pieces were discovered. Previously Burzio (1958: Vol. 2, 312-14, 323-24) records only one 2 escudo piece of Charles II, and the earliest 1 escudo piece is given as 1736.
These coins were generally crude and irregular (Pl. XV, lower). The Spanish crest was incomplete on many specimens and arms of the various countries were often incorrectly portrayed. One of the most frequent errors was the reversal of the positions of the castles and lions in the arms of Leon and Castile. Occasionally, the entire crest was reversed with Leon and Castile appearing on the right and the saltire of the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily on the left. Apparent lack of consistency in the coins, compounded by poor workmanship in their manufacture, makes it difficult to ascertain the period of manufacture. It has been implied (Christensen 1964: 26) that the use of native unskilled labor at this mint may be responsible for the crude character of the coins.

Cuzco Mint (Peru)
The mint at Cuzco apparently operated for only a few months in 1698. The coins were essentially like those described for Lima with the exception of the mint mark, which was in this case a "C." Previously only one coin, a 2 escudo from 1698, was recorded by Burzio (1958: Vol. 1, 131).
At least 10 examples were recovered from the wreck site, a 1 escudo and nine 2 escudo pieces. The 1 escudo piece resembled that of Lima, presenting a single small castle flanked on the left by the mint mark and on the right by the assayer's initial. Underneath were the last three digits of the date.

Silver Coins
The division between the State and the salvors of the 200-odd pounds of silver coins by weight effectively precludes any meaningful evaluation of these coins in terms of mints, denominations and dates at this time. Personal examination of many of these coins, however, permits the following observations.
The vast majority are of Mexican origin from the 1700-1714 period (Pls. XI-XII). A small percentage are from the Lima mint (Pl. X, first two), some from the late 1600's, with an even smaller proportion from the mint at Potosi (Pl. X, last) in present-day Bolivia.


22








ANALYSIS OF ARTIFACTS


Although all three of these mints were striking a full series of denominations in silver, i.e., 1, 2, 4, and 8 reals, between 1700-1714 (Burzio 1958: Vol. 1, 214), the majority of these coins are of 4 and 8 reals.
Jewelry
Rings
Approximately 16 whole rings and two halves of a broken ring were found. All were very small, averaging 15 mm. inside diameter. Although most of these were plain gold rings or bore simple geometric designs, four were more elaborate and deserve comment.
The most complicated ring was a design depicting in sequence a cannon, stack of cannon balls, powder keg, pike, sword, helmet and sword, plumed knight's helmet with visor, bugle, drum, and return to cannon. Another example consisted of a pair of hands holding a heart between the finger tips. The last two examples were a crudely engraved floral design on a series of round facets and a series of six sharply pointed pyramids surrounding the ring much in the manner of short spikes (Pl. VI, left).

Chains
Eight pieces of gold chain ranged in length from 20.4 cm. to over 2.04 meters. Five of these were of a plain simple link. In four of these five lengths of chain, the links measured approximately 3 mm. in diameter with 53 links per 10 cm. The fifth, a complete circle, had links measuring 2 mm. in diameter with 90 links per 10 cm.
Three full circle chains measuring 1.5, 1.96, and 2.04 meters were of a more complicated design (Pl. VI). They were basically standard link chains to which had been attached on the two exposed sides of each link an additional gold form. The added element varied somewhat between chains but resembled a four-petaled floral motif with or without a center bud. The longest of these chains was also the thickest with a diameter of approximately 5 mm. with 44 links per 10 cm.

Buckles
Three buckles were recovered, two of silver and another of gold. A large oval-shaped silver example (Pl. I, right of C), 68 mm. long and 55 mm. wide, had a large horseshoe-shaped tongue 38 mm. long with two short fastening prongs. The second silver example and the









A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


gold buckle were considerably smaller and incomplete. Unfortunately no further data are available.


Forks Table Silver
Five fragmentary silver forks and several smaller pieces resembled modern varieties in form and design (Pl. I, A). Five fragments represented another type of fork, more angular in design with either a somewhat plow-shaped handle (possibly utilized as a marrow pick) or a three-lobed handle with a barbed expansion before the tines (Wagner 1965: 32-33). Both types had four tines.
The first variety was structurally heavy and of two sizes. One large, almost whole, example was approximately 20.1 cm. long, 27 mm. across the tines, and 22 mm. across the widest portion of the handle. The only measurable smaller example was 17.2 cm. long, 25 mm. across the tines, and 19 mm. across the widest portion of the handle.
On the top of the large expanded portion of the handle of the three most intact specimens were three stamps arranged along the long axis of the fork (Pl. II). The stamp closest to the tines was rectangular with flattened corners and measured approximately 12 by 15 mm. Inside, in letters 2 mm. high, was the name "Gosalez," or "G6salez" with the last three letters arranged below the first four. The middle stamp, 8 mm. wide and 4 mm. high, consisted of the pillars of Hercules surmounted by a crown. Just below the crown and between the pillars was an unidentified device which seemed to resemble a knight's plumed helmet in outline. Below and between the base of the pillars was a 2 mm. high letter "M." The stamp nearest the end of the handle was not sufficiently clear in any of the examples to identify. It appeared to be approximately 6 mm. wide and perhaps slightly taller.
The first stamp probably gave the family name of the manufacturers, or less likely, that of an owner. The second stamp with the crown and pillars when used on manufactured articles indicated, according to McNickle (1961), that the piece was registered and assayed but had not yet passed through the royal foundry and that royal dues were still owing. The "M" was the sigla of the Mexico mint.

Spoons and Knives
Fragmentary examples of silver spoons were found, none of which


24








ANALYSIS OF ARTIFACTS


were sufficiently intact to permit description. Several examples of silver knife handles of varying designs were in the collections. The steel blades and tangs, originally of thin stock, had been destroyed. Exact measurements are unfortunately not available, but one example was probably of three-piece construction with spiral grip and pommel 108 mm. long and 17 mm. in diameter. A second example appeared to be of a heavier design, quite similar to those in use today.

Plates
Two silver plates, apparently from the same set, were secured (Pl. I, right of B). They measured 24.8 and 24.6 cm. in diameter. Each had a 48 mm. wide rim with a bead around the edge formed by rolling the lip of the plate over from the underside. From the under edge of this wide rim the center depression dropped in a sharp curve, forming a circular inside area approximately 15.3 cm. across and an estimated 22 mm. in depth.
On the rim of one plate cleaned by electrolysis was the same stamp, composed of two pillars, crown and letter "M," as found on the fork handles.

Candlesticks
Two ornate silver candlestick tops, one fragmentary, were found (Pl. II, left). The whole example displayed a threaded stem 11 mm. long and 9 mm. wide for securing to a base. The body of this specimen was 26 mm. in diameter with flaring collars, the largest of which, located near the top, was 42 mm. in diameter. The broken example appeared of essentially the same design as the first, but the ornamental flares were slightly smaller in diameter. The lack of bases may indicate that they were of a different material or, more likely, that these items were shipped "knocked down" and that the bases were not encountered.

Unidentified
Included here on the basis of their apparent high silver content are several unidentified objects. These were bullet-shaped with a cylindrical body tapering rapidly to a blunt point at one end and relatively flat at the other. One measured 85 mm. in length and 76 mm. in width. Spectrographic analysis indicated silver was the major constituent, followed by iron at 10 per cent.


25








26 A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP

The explanation of these objects as olive jar stoppers has been advanced, but is not supported by previous descriptions of such items, which indicate cork (Goggin 1960a: 13) or a fibrous material somewhat resembling palm wood as the material most often used for this purpose.















SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS


This report has covered the salvage of material from the wreck of a vessel of the 1715 Spanish fleet by a commercial salvage company working under a State of Florida lease. The wreck site, methods and problems of recovery, and the artifactual material collected have been described and pertinent historical references presented. The identity of the vessel represented by this wreck is at present unknown. However, based on the large quantity of Mexican coins, it may tentatively be assumed to have been one of the five vessels of the flota under the command of Esteban de Ubilla which loaded at Vera Cruz.
The established minimal horizontal controls effectively indicated the jumbled and scattered condition of the wreck. As the locations of specimens were recorded, it became evident that there was little if any discernible spatial relationship between the recovered items (Fig. 2). This situation bore out the common sense theory advanced by Goggin (1960b: 252-53) and others (Dumas 1962: 4) that ships wrecked on this type of exposed coast with a sloping sea bottom would be badly broken up and their contents scattered. This jumbled context makes them the least rewarding to the marine archaeologist.
An interpretation of this scattering-whether its occurrence is the result of the breaking up of the vessel during the hurricane rather than the slow disintegration and drifting apart of the vessel and cargo under the continuing physical and chemical assaults of the seais a moot point. The general scattering of much of the ballast and other wreck material over a wide area and the quantity of treasure missed in the subsequent Spanish salvage operation suggests that the vessel suffered at least some massive structural damage, perhaps sectioning, upon striking and before recovery efforts could be instituted by the Spanish following the storm. The area where the concentrated ballast was encountered (Fig. 2) may indicate a spillage of this material from the ruptured hull. It could also indicate where the bottom of the vessel, weighted down by much of the ballast and broken free from the hull at the turn of the bilge, came to rest while the then lightened remains of the ship continued shoreward.








A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


The lack of variety in the non-treasure artifacts was somewhat disappointing although those in the treasure category were unsurpassed. This lack of variety was particularly evident in the tota] absence of glass and in the paucity of ceramic materials. This is unfortunate as both ceramics and glass are areas of study where comparisons of specimens collected from dated wrecks with those from land sites could easily be made and be of particular interest and use to the comparative student.
The description of the recovered specimens provides first-hand evidence as to what actually comprised treasure moving from the New World to Spain during this period. Undoubtedly much data concerning dies and minting practices will be extracted from the coins at a later date. When material from other 1715 wrecks is salvaged, it is expected that considerable information will be added to the inventory of material culture covered in this report to form a backlog of valuable and needed information for this period.
Finally, it is hoped that this report constitutes a start toward a more reliable literature concerning wrecks and the materials recovered from them than is currently available.


28

















REFERENCES CITED


Bass, George F.
1964. "Excavating a Byzantine Shipwreck." In Diving Into the Past (J. D.
Holmquist and A. H. Wheeler, eds.), Proceedings of the 1963 Conference on Underwater Archeology. St. Paul. Burzio, Humberto F.
1958. Diccionario de la Moneda Hispanoamnericana. Fondo Historico y Bibliografico Jose Toribio-Medina. Santiago de Chile. Christensen, Henry
1964. The Ubilla-Echevez Collection (catalog). New Jersey. Dumas, Frederic
1962. Deep Water Archeology. London. Fernandez Duro, Cesareo
1900. Armada Espanola- Madrid. Goggin, John M.
1950. "A Preliminary Consideration of Spanish Introduced Majolica Pottery
in Florida and the Southwest, a Preliminary Report." University of
Florida, Gainesville. Mimeographed.
1960a. "The Spanish Olive Jar, An Introductory Study." Yale University Publications in Anthropology, no. 62.
19601). "Underwater Archeology, Its Nature and Limitation." American Antiquity, vol. 25, no. 3. Lopez-Chavez, Leopoldo
1961. Catalogo de la Onza Espanola. Madrid.
1962. Catalogo de la Media Onza. Madrid. Manucy, Albert
1955. "Artillery Through the Ages." National Park Service Interpretive Series
History no. 3. Washington. McNickle, A. J. S.
1961. The Lost Treasure of King Philip IV. Development Board Booklet.
Nassau.
1962. Spanish Colonial Coins of North America, Mexico Mint. Sociedad
Numismatica de Mexico.










A 1715 SPANISH TREASURE SHIP


Potter, John S.
1960. Treasure Divers Guide. New York. Pradeau, Alberto F.
1938. Ninisiatic History of Mexico. Western Printing Co., California. Romans, Bernard
1775. A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida. New York. Schurz, William L.
1939. The Manila Galleon. New York. Smith, Hale G.
1956. "The European and the Indian." Florida Anthropological Society Publications, no. 4.

Tooley, R. V.
1962. Maps and Map Makers. New York. Wagner, Kip
1965. "Drowned Galleons off Florida Yield Spanish Gold." National Geographic Magazine, vol. 127, no. 1. Worcester, D. E., and W. G. Schaeffer
1956. The Growth and Culture of Latin America. New York.


30














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PLATE 1. \1ISCLLLANEOUS \METAL SPECLNIENS A, silver forks; B, pewter and silver plates; C, silver candlestick and buckle; D, lead sounding weights; E, brass dividers and crushed lead box.


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PLATE III. SILVER CANDLESTICK, BRASS DIVIDERS, AND IRON RODS
















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PLATE IV. MISCELLANEOUS CLAY AND METAL SPECIMENS
Upper: A, olive jar sherds; B, sword handle; C, pewter plate and rim; D, lead patch, folded and rolled lead sheet; E, brass divider and crushed lead box. Lower: sherds of very large ceramic vessels, B exhibits wavy lines.


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PLATE V. BARSHOT, TIMBER, AND LARGE IRON BARS





























































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PLATE VI. GOLD RINGS AND COMPLICATED GOLD CHAIN


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PLATE VII. LARGE SILVER INGOTS




































































PLATE VIII. TOP AND BOTTOM OF GOLD-SILVER ALLOY INGOT


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PLATE IX. STAMPED TOPS OF GOLD AND GOLD-SILVER INGOTS







































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PLATE XI. SIL\EH COINS. MEXICO MINT. EIGHT T IIHOUGLI ONE HEAL















































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Upper: struck during reign of Philip V prior to 1714.
Lower: struck during reign of Philip V in 1714.










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PLATE XIV. REVERSE OF COINS IN PLATE XIII















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PLATE XV. GOLD COINS FROM SOUTH AMERICA
Upper: 8, 4. and 1 escudos, Lima mint.
Lower: 2 escudos, Santa Fe de Bogota mint.


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PLATE XVI. GOLD EIGHT ESCUDO COINS
Upper: Lima mint, dated 1712, obverse of Pl. XV, upper firs-. Lower: Mexico mint, period of Charles II.




















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PLATE XVII. 1ROUNID GOLD COIN, MNEXICO MINT


Upp,'r: 8 escudo. dated 1702.


Lower: reverse.


































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PLATE XVIII. ROUND GOLD COIN, MEXICO MINT
Upper: 8 escudo, dated 1714. Lower: reverse













CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE FLORIDA STATE MUSEUM SOCIAL SCIENCES


Number 1. Excavations on Cape Haze Peninsula, Florida, by Ripley P. and
Adelaide K. Bullen. Price $.75.


Number 2. Excavations on Lower St. Johns River, Florida, by William H.
Sears. Price $.75.


Number 3. Eight Tarascan Legends by Maurice Boyd. Price $.75. Number 4. The Bolen Bluff Site on Paynes Prairie, Florida, by Ripley P.
Bullen. Price $.75.


Number 5. Two Weeden Island Period Burial Mounds, Florida, by William
H. Sears. Price $.75.


Number 6. The Bayshore Homes Site, St. Petersburg, Florida,' by William H.
Sears. Price $.75.


Number 7. The British Meet the Indians by James W. Covington, Price $1.00. Number 8. Indian Burials from St. Petersburg, Florida, by Charles E. Snow.
Price $1.00.


Number 9. The Tucker Site on Alligator Harbor, Franklin County, Florida, by
William H. Sears. Price $1.00.


Number 10. Papers on the Jungerman and Goodman Sites, Florida, by Douglas
F. Jordan, Elizabeth S. Wing, and Adelaide K. Bullen. Price $1.00. Number 11. The Archaeology of Grenada, West Indies, by Ripley P. Bullen.
Price $1.00.


Number 12. A 1715 Spanish Treasure Ship, by Carl J. Clausen. Price $1.00.


(Plus sales tax in Florida)
Order from Florida State Museum Seagle Building, Gainesville, Florida







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