Children's Museum

IU archaeologists keep up Caribbean shipwreck work

From Indy Star

Silver coins and other artifacts recovered from shipwrecks off the Dominican Republic coast by Indiana University researchers over the years went on display Tuesday at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis.

The artifacts were collected as part of the university's ongoing efforts to work with the Caribbean country to establish underwater museums in the many shipwrecks off its coast.

The artifacts found by IU underwater archaeologists over the years include silver coins recovered from the 1725 wreckage of the Spanish merchant vessel Nuestra Senora de Begona, as well as older items from the indigenous Taino tribes, The Herald-Times reported.

Charles Beeker, director of IU's Office of Underwater Science, said the items on display represent spillage from the wreck, but he is confident the remains of the ship are nearby.

IU investigators learned after a trip to examine records in Saville, Spain, that the Begona was a merchant vessel that made stops throughout the Caribbean before it encountered rough weather in the Caribbean Sea and ultimately had to be beached by the captain. It broke up and sank off what is now the Dominican Republic.

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