Tuesday, August 8, 2017

8/8/17 Report - Florida's First Large Spanish Settlement Might Not Be Where You Think It Was. Scale Weight and Mystery Object. Drowned In Dry Sand? Tropical Storm Franklin.

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

Scale Weight Found at the de Luna Settlement Site.
Source: See link below.

What was the largest mid Spanish settlement in the Southeast in the mid-16th century?  The answer might surprise you.

University of West Florida archaeology students and researchers have spent the summer uncovering more details about the 1559 Luna Settlement.

The Tristan de Luna settlemnent overlooking Pensacola Bay existed for just two years until 1561...

“We now know that the site really does have a definitive boundary and that encompasses an area of about 27 total acres minimum…and if we turn it into a grid, it’s about 31 acres,” said Dr. John Worth, the project’s principal investigator. “Either one of those numbers makes this the largest mid-16th Century Spanish residential settlement in the entire southeast.”

That makes the Luna Settlement, known as Santa Maria de Ochuse, larger than St. Augustine when it was first established in 1565; and it was bigger than Santa Elena when it was initially established in 1566 on the coast of South Carolina.

“That’s because Luna brought 1500 colonist, whereas St. Augustine and Santa Elena had something on the order of 300-600 settlers(at first),” said Worth in reference to the initial size of those colonies.
“So, we had the largest settlement at the time. Therefore, we have the largest archaeological site of the 16th Century Spanish Colonial era here, which really puts it on the map.”

Here is a link for more from that article.


Detectorists have found old scale weights.  I have one item that might be one, but I think probably not.  They are not what I would call common detector finds but do show up occasionally.

Silver Dug Object From Beach.
Some people think the object shown above is a scale weight.  Note the stamped "1" on one side.  Under the "1" seems to be a small wreathe.  It weighs ten grams and is silver (acid tested).

Another guess I get is "button."  It shows absolutely no sign of any type of attachment and is a solid ten grams.  I don't think it is a button.

If it is a scale weight, I don't know why it is made of silver.  One person said it might be what was available at the time.  That is possible.  It is rounded on top and bottom, so not stackable like most scale weights.  Maybe it didn't need to be stackable.  It could be a coin weight or something like that when only one weight was necessary.

For me the jury is still out, but the most likely answer in my mind is that it was what was left over  after an assay.  I still don't know.


Here is a strange one.

The strange death of a woman who drowned in sand along a Maryland beach has been deemed an accident, authorities said.

Ashley O'Connor, 30, was vacationing with her family in Ocean City when she somehow landed in a deep hole, according to police.

A beachgoer found the woman's body submerged in the sand, with only a hand showing, the Ocean City Police Department said in a statement.

O'Connor, who lived in Plano, Texas, was last seen going for a walk on the beach Monday at about 2 a.m., her family said...


Accident?  Crime?  What?


If you do much beach detecting you are probably in pretty good shape.  Walking in the sand while swinging a detector can be exercise - especially if you do it vigorously.

If you've slowed down during the hot summer heat, you might be losing some of your conditioning.

A good exercise program might be a good idea.  A good level of fitness can help your detecting and increase finds.


The Golden Corral on Virginia Avenue in Fort Pierce seems to have exceptionally good management.  Every once in a while they surprise me with service beyond what I expect.

There was another G. C. down by the St. Lucie WalMart that went out of business for some reason.  I never felt it had the same excellent management and always liked the one in Fort Pierce better.  I just wanted to say a good word about the Virginia Avenue G. C. because they really impressed me once again recently.


Franklin, as expected, is crossing the Yucatan and is expected to make it back to the Gulf.

The second disturbance is moving west but has not been developing.

Expect a one of two foot surf on the Treasure Coast for at least another week.

Happy hunting,