Journey of North Carolina's oldest shipwreck

From Our Amazing Planet

A nearly 400-year-old shipwreck was discovered in Corolla, N.C., in 2008 after storms and tides uncovered its timbers. Archeologists from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources believe the structure to be the remains of the oldest shipwreck discovered off the North Carolina coast.

In the summer of 2010, archeologists decided that the wreckage couldn't remain on the beach any longer, where wind, sand and water could harm the timber remains.

North Carolina state officials surveyed and measured the wreckage in pieces so they could figure out the best way to move it.

North Carolina's Outer Banks are no stranger to shipwrecks, with thousands scattered along the coast. But, it is rare to find the remains of older, wooden vessels still intact.

Since the shipwreck was exposed in 2008, many Corolla residents have used metal detectors to find artifacts at the site. The artifacts pictured above were recovered by resident Ray Midgett.

Ray Midgett has collected many of the artifacts associated with the wreck. Above, a rare coin that he discovered.

"It is a silver, 1642 Charles I, British Crown ... issued during the English Civil War period," Midgett said. "The back of the coin bears the date and wording, "RELIG : PROT : LEG : ANG : LIBER : PAR," which means, 'To uphold the Protestant Religion, the Laws of England and the Liberty of Parliament.'"

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