Native American remains, Spanish coins unearthed by erosion from Hurricane Nicole


Hurricane Nicole caused widespread erosion across the east coast of Florida this week, endangering homes and washing out roads with massive storm surge. Those same forces unearthed several archeological finds around Florida.

Human remains believed to be Native Americans were uncovered on Chastain Beach in Martin County. Investigators believe the bones might be centuries old and have handed the site over to local universities for further inquiry.

“The bones will be turned over to historians from some of the local universities are here,” Martin County deputy Jon Budensiek told WKMG. “They will make sure they are properly respected and preserved for history.”

The sheriff's office said that the find consisted of a skull and several leg bones.

A less grisly find was unearthed by metal detector-using hobbyists in Bonsteel Park in Brevard County. Two would-be treasure hunters uncovered a coin that the believe came from a Spanish fleets and might be the remains of a famous shipwreck.

Spanish fleets carrying gold and silver sunk off the coast in 1715 and 1733. While many of the ships in these two disasters have been found, eight ships are still missing. Treasure hunters have fiended after a big score since 1961 when salvagers found thousands of coins north of Fort Pierce. 

Atlantic Coast hurricanes scour the beaches and bring new opporturnities for diehard detectors, searching over areas that would have been far below the top level of sand (or even out at sea) prior to the storm's arrival. The single coin is estimated by the unnamed hunter to be worth around $400.
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