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  1. #1
    whydah 1717

    Jun 2006
    newport, Rhode Island
    264
    2 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Beeswax and Manila galleons

    Interesting article!!

    Beeswax from centuries-old shipwrecks still found on Oregon beaches
    GOLD BEACH, Ore. It was the amber luminescent glow of an egg-shaped object in the winter sun that grabbed Loretta LeGuee's attention on the beach she had combed for years.

    Experts say it almost certainly is a chunk of beeswax from a Spanish trading vessel that sank off the coast more than 300 years ago.

    The wax has been turning up on Oregon's north coast in the Nehalem and Manzanita areas for centuries. A find this far south is rare.

    "From the picture they sent me, that's what it looks like to me, it's definitely beeswax," said Scott Williams of Olympia, assistant state archaeologist for Washington.

    He leads the Beeswax Wreck Project of volunteers probing why blocks of beeswax have been popping up along the Oregon Coast for centuries.

    This hunk could have been from the Santo Christo de Burgos, which sank in 1693, or the San Francisco Xavier, which disappeared in 1705. Both were en route from the Philippines to Acapulco, Mexico, with tons of wax.

    Such discoveries have been traced to the Philippines by the wings of the bees, native to those islands, found in the wax.

    "Where she [LeGuee] found it would be unusual, being so far south," Williams said, noting the ocean currents off Oregon flow north, not south. "But we know the Indians were trading it prehistorically up and down the coast."

    LeGuee, 52, and her German shepherd, Norman, found the 10-pound chunk just south of Gold Beach in early December.

    After a ferocious storm in the area, she kept a sharp eye out. She had found fishing floats and agates in the past after storms. "And we had just had high winds, real bad weather," she said.

    Beeswax was once preferred for candles over malodorous tallow, or rendered animal fat.

    "The Catholic Church required the use of beeswax," he said. "There were no native honeybees in the New World. The churches in Mexico had to get wax from someplace and the large Asian honeybees produced a lot of beeswax."


    Records dating to the early 1800s record Indians trading cakes of beeswax to settlers arriving in the Pacific Northwest.

    "As soon as the Northwest fur traders came into the country, the Indians were trying to trade beeswax to them," he said. "The Indians told them it was from a shipwreck."

    The San Francisco Xavier was carrying some 75 tons of beeswax, according to shipping records. Because a massive earthquake and tsunami in January of 1700 would have sent earlier ship remains farther inland, a researcher on the team says the Nehalem Bay beeswax is likely from the 1705 shipwreck.

    Finds of the wax along the north coast still occur. The wax lacks the monetary value of the gold and silver thought to be lost, or even buried, along the north coast but discoveries are considered priceless to archaeologists.

    "It's 300-year-old beeswax from a Spanish galleon to me, that's really neat," Williams said.

    Copyright 2008 The Seattle Times Company


  2. #2

    Apr 2005
    877
    5 times

    Re: Beeswax and Manila galleons

    I have spent several years following a trail of clues that suggest Thomas Cavendish's ship, the Content, wrecked in the area south of Gold Beach in 1588, shortly after it participated in the capture and looting of the Manila Galleon Santa Ana. Although I have not seen anything that lists beeswax as part of its cargo, it would not be a surprise if it was carrying some. Down in Baja California where they recently found wreckage from the Manila Galleon San Felipe, which went missing in 1575/6, they also found several pieces of beeswax.

    I will follow this up and let you know if it leads anywhere.

    Mariner

  3. #3
    us
    Feb 2004
    lake mary florida
    Wesmar SHD700SS Side Scan Sonar,U/W Mac 1 Turbo Aquasound by American Electronics,Fisher 1280x,Aquasound UW md,Aqua pulse AQ1B
    2,275
    273 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Beeswax and Manila galleons

    The wax lacks the monetary value of the gold and silver thought to be lost.

    I know where theres lots of bees wax.and you dont even have to waste your time looking on the beach for it.An it still have gold colored honey in it!
    Millions of dollars of Spanish treasure await those who would dare brave the eye of the hurricane.

  4. #4

    Apr 2005
    877
    5 times

    Re: Beeswax and Manila galleons

    And is it 16th century beeswax from the East Indies?

    Mariner

  5. #5
    us
    Feb 2008
    SE Missouri
    garage sale oldie
    3,071
    860 times
    TH'ing, fishing, reading, cooking

    Re: Beeswax and Manila galleons

    fisheye, I think you you need to go for a walk on the beach with me! I have never had a bad day on the beach, even if I find nothing, it's still the beach! the smell, the breeze, the water. I love WA states' beaches. sometimes cold & rainy, sometimes just cold, but always a joy to walk.
    dancing in the fire!

  6. #6

    Apr 2005
    877
    5 times

    Re: Beeswax and Manila galleons

    Watch out Fisheye!!

    Everybody knows that mama bears like honey. She's just after your stash of beeswax containing the honey, and then what will happen to you?

    Sorry, mamabear, couldn't resist the connection!

    Mariner

  7. #7
    us
    Feb 2008
    SE Missouri
    garage sale oldie
    3,071
    860 times
    TH'ing, fishing, reading, cooking

    Re: Beeswax and Manila galleons

    that's ok. this mama bear don't bite. & I have my own supply of honey thank you very much
    dancing in the fire!

  8. #8
    us
    Feb 2004
    lake mary florida
    Wesmar SHD700SS Side Scan Sonar,U/W Mac 1 Turbo Aquasound by American Electronics,Fisher 1280x,Aquasound UW md,Aqua pulse AQ1B
    2,275
    273 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Beeswax and Manila galleons

    mamabear,

    Several year ago i did walk those beaches on the oregon an washington coasts.to dam cold for me an all the rain too.im sure you find alot.i would have too but was worried about getting frost bite.and those sea lions wernt to friendly,must have been guarding something near the water.maybe the men in grey suits were after them.us florida treasure hunters like it nice an warm!no need for winter clothes here.come down to florida to thaw out an ill gladly walk the beaches with you.
    Millions of dollars of Spanish treasure await those who would dare brave the eye of the hurricane.

 

 

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