Galle Marine Archaeology Museum

Treasure harvested from the Great Basses

By Gamini Mahadura - Daily Mirror

A collection of silver coins discovered from a wreckage of a ship that had sunk in the sea off the Great Basses reef (Maha Ravana) off Kirinda on the Southern coast about 310 years ago is now on display at the Galle Marine Archaeology Museum.

The conservator of artifacts said many of the coins had been damaged and discoloured.

According to history, the ill-fated ship had been carrying a consignment of silver coins from Surat in the north western coast of India to the eastern coast and while it was sailing through Sri Lankan waters it had gone off course, probably due to a storm and had hit a reef.

The archaeologist said that the coins manufactured during the reign of the last Mogul emperor Auranzib (AD 1638 – AD 1707AD) had been discovered by a team of marine researchers under Mike Wilson in 1961 and Dr Arthur C. Clark drawing the attention of international marine researchers.

However, the coins were conserved in the Galle Marine Museum after it was established.