Buried Treasure Captivates Young Explorers

IU Researchers Unearth Historic Finds

Historic treasures lost at the bottom of the ocean for hundreds of years will soon captivate young explorers at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

Never-before-seen artifacts and coins unearthed by Indiana researchers will soon be on display, RTV6's Julie Pursley reported.

The treasure is believed to be from the Spanish merchant vessel Nuestra Señora de Begoña, which sank in 1725 off the coast of the Dominican Republic.

"It's kind of the romance of pirates and the Caribbean and all of that but, the point is that there are archeologist, underwater archeologists, doing real work," said Jeffrey Patchen, museum CEO.

Researchers and archaeologists from Indiana University began unearthing the artifacts last month. They haven't found the ship yet, but they believe they're getting close.

"It's quite exciting because the coins are really giving us the CSI thumb print to what's really going on on this shipwreck," said IU Underwater Science Director Charles Beeker.

Historians believe the vessel may have carried smuggled treasure, hidden to avoid taxation from the Spanish crown.

The exhibit is expected to draw a crowd at the museum, and researchers are hopeful it will inspire the next generation of explorers.

"It's that sense of discovery that really drives archeology," said John Foster with IU's department of anthropology.

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