A treasure trove has been discovered in a shipwrecks in the Australian outback, the latest in a series of shipwreck discoveries that have led to people selling off their possessions.
In July, a ship off the coast of New South Wales found what was believed to be a priceless treasure trove, but authorities later said it was a hoax.
Now, researchers have revealed that the shipwreck is a collection of a few hundred wooden items from different ships and other artifacts dating back to the 1500s.
The artifacts were discovered in the middle of a coastal region known as the Gold Coast, in the Pilbara region.
Some of the objects were found in two separate sites in the same year, but all were discovered at the same time.
One of the shipwrewcks contained a treasure chest, but it was not clear if the items contained gold or silver.
The shipwreck was named after Captain John W. Pilgrim, a British sailor who was responsible for the recovery of the wreck of the HMS Terror in 1765.
He is now buried in the graveyard.
“We were very lucky, and very blessed to be able to find the ship and recover these objects,” Dr Rebecca Koeppe, a palaeontologist at the University of Western Australia, told ABC Radio Canberra.
“I think we’re only going to see more shipwreshes and discoveries like this.”
The discovery has raised questions about the authenticity of the ancient treasure, which has been found on both sides of the Tasman Sea.
Dr Koeppen said the items were not necessarily genuine and they were likely to have been bought from shipwares that were lost at sea, which was a common practice at the time.
“It would be very unusual for these items to have survived long-term on their own,” she said.
Dr Roberts said the treasure trove was an important piece of history that should be preserved.
“The ship is the most famous shipwreck in Australia and there’s no doubt that there’s some very valuable material on board, including the treasure,” he said.
“If it’s in good condition, then there’s a lot of value for the museum and for the people who have travelled there.”