Ancient bottles, gold and cannon balls top wreck salvage record

Recovered Artifacts

Details have emerged of the range of artefacts uncovered from wreck salvage in UK waters during the past decade.

Over the past 10 years, the UK’s Receiver of Wreck (RoW) team has received 3,566 reports of salvage, leading to the discovery of many artefacts in the oceans surrounding the UK.

Steeped in rich maritime history, the objects uncovered ranged from fully intact glass bottles with corks still wedged in place, to cannonballs from different eras and vessels.

The items were all salvaged by the RoW, the official responsible for administering all wreck material recovered from the UK under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.

The most common items salvaged were bottles and containers for liquid, with more than 500 wreck reports mentioning these. However, contrary to expectation, these bottles are thought not to contain the classic pirate drink, with just one empty rum bottle being discovered in the last ten years.

There were 117 reports of coins and 65 reports of golden items, from gold nuggets to a gold brooch with garnet stones.

209 reports of multiple cannonballs and musket balls, 84 aircraft fragments and 10 reports of ammunition.

Other common items discovered include plates, bowls, cutlery, lamps, shoes and pipes.

The RoW also says it has received 27 reports of human remains, which were reported to the police.

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