Tuesday, June 18, 2013

6/18/13 Report - Handmade Boat, Silver Find, Bar Kokhba Coin & Tropical Depression 2

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com

Photo by Warren D.
Warren D. recently saw this small boat that I mentioned in the blog about a couple of weeks ago.  I'm a little surprised it is still on the beach although it looks up higher on the beach than it was when I saw it. 

Here is what Warren said about the boat.

I spotted the small boat that you commented on a couple of weeks ago. An interesting point is that it is handmade. It appears to have washed ashore. It is about 10 feet long. Made out of rough timber, the bow beam seems to be a rough cut beam shaped to a point. The small bow cover is hand fitted wood with a hole for a mast. The seams are covered with hand nailed metal flashing. It is hand tarred all over and the only thing in the boat is a long handled paint brush with the bristles mostly worn down and covered in tar. There is no apparent rudder. Maybe an oar was used as a rudder? It makes you stop and think. Was it built in the islands? How desperate does someone have to be to get into it? Should be in a museum of some kind.

Warrem obviously knows a lot more about boats than I. 

Isn't it remarkable how knowledge makes everything in the world more interesting.

Thanks for your observations Warren.

I must have seen the boat on the morning after it landed.  A police officer came down on the beach to inspect it and asked if I had seen anyone with it.

It reminded me of the days when I would often see rafts that washed up on Key Biscayne over night.

Here is a silver bracelet that I dug in shallow water yesterday.  Not an exciting find, but there are few things about it that I wanted to point out.

First, the color.  It is typical of silver that has been in salt water for a good while.

Silver Shallow Water Find.
Second, check out items for any markings.  This one is marked on the flat pieces at both ends of the chain.  ITALY on one side (you can almost see that in the photo if you look close), and 925 on the other side of both of those end pieces.

Third, notice the claw clasp.  On about 20% of the chains that I find (both silver and gold) with a claw clasp, the clasp is broken.  That is probably the reason the chain was lost.

Inspection of the silver with magnification shows the extent to which the silver is corroded and pitted, again, in this case supporting the idea that it has been lost for quite some time.

Knowing if an item has been recently lost or was lost a long time will help tell you something about the movement of sand and other items.  It can be useful information.

It looked to me that the sand where this bracelet was found had been recently moved, and it was found very near the surface.  I think I know how it ended up there.  I think the sand and bracelet was recently dragged from the beach and into the shallow water.

I've always threatened to do a test to see how quickly silver tarnishes in salt water but haven't done it yet.

Yesterday and the day before my main topic was the mystery coin found by Michael E.   That was a fun and interesting find. 

If you followed that story both days, you undoubtedly learned a few things.  I certainly did.

One thing you might have learned is something about second century Israel, the second temple and the Bar Jojoba revolt.

Another thing you might have learned about are the artifacts such as the Bar Kokhbah coins found in Kentucky that some people point to as evidence that others Europeans visited America before well before Columbus.

I'll follow up on some of that later.  I found some neat information on that which I'm eager to share in the blog.

In treasure hunting one thing leads to another.  That is a lot of the fun of it and a lot of what makes it so interesting.  You'll miss that, though, if you don't research finds.  It was the research done on Michael's coin that brought all of this to my attention.

You probably read yesterday that I said there was more research for Michael to do.  I was not sure the coin was genuine.   It didn't look to me like it had been in the ground very long.  There was no sand attached to it and no indication of corrosion.   You usually see that on old coins that have been buried for a while in Florida.

Well, Michael took the coin to a jewelry dealer who identified the coin as a reproduction.   Too bad!   All is not lost though.  We learned a lot.   And that shows once again that the real benefit in treasure hunting does not end at the find.  And it is not all about the economic value of a find.  There is much more to it.

Here is what Michael said.

Thank you for the focus on the coin, I took it to a coin and jewelry dealer and was told the coin is made to look old, more of a souvenir type of reproduction. Still an educational and exciting find. Not interested in the financial value as much as the history and excitement of uncovering something below the feet. Even as a fake I learn a lot in just one day. Thank you and your readers again.

I want to thank my readers too.  It is always fun to solve a mystery.   I would never have found the identity of the coin myself - certainly not that quickly.   I heavily depend upon my readers to submit information, questions, photos, etc.  The blog is more valuable to us all when people participate.  Even a question makes it much easier for me to construct a useful post.

Before I leave that topic tecklorddoug sent in the following pictures of a similar Bar Kokhba coin along with the description.

Coin of the Second Jewish Revolt or the Bar Kokhba War, large silver coin known as a Sela, 134 –135 CE.  Left: "Simon,"  facade of Temple in Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant within and star above.   Center: "For the freedom of Jerusalem", lulav and etrog. Legends in paleo-Hebrew.  Over struck on a Vespasian tetradrachm with portrait still faintly visible. Right: composite image showing orientation of Roman Tetradrachm depicting Emperor Vespasian used as blank for the Sela.

They say the object in the center is the Ark of he Covenant instead of the Table of Shewbread, which was my thought.

For more on the Table of Shewbread, here is a link.


But what I really wanted to point out with these pictures is how the portrait of the emperor on the coin on the far right was filed down or otherwise removed and replaced with a new image, as shown on the revised coin shown in the center.  You can see some of the outline of the emperor's protrait remaining on that coin.

On the Treasure Coast the surf is 1 - 2 fee today and will be about the same the next two or three days.

The wind will be from the southeast.  And the low tide tomorrow will be later in the morning.

Tropical depression two has formed down by Yucatan.  It is that time a year to start watching for tropical activity.

Happy hunting,