Treasure recovery experts and explorers discovered an ancient Peruvian funeral mask in one confidential location at sea near Melbourne, Florida, which they think is the proof of a sunken treasure, which is worth a cool $4 billion.
This treasure allegedly went down with a Spanish ship sailing from Cuba to Spain in the year 1715, and it was wrecked in a hurricane, so the researchers that worked with Seafarer Exploration Corporation are calling their potential discovery the richest archaeological discovery of their time.
The News 6 video featured in one report on Clickorland.com shows how the reporter James Sparvero interviews Army Ranger and MIT adjunct professor Dr. Mike Torres, who searched for this particular shipwreck for the last eleven years. Following the debris, just like he calls it, professor Torres claimed that the ancient mask had been found washed up on a beach and it is “Inca,” which originates in Peru.
Torres also believes that the Spanish stole this mask from a very special tomb as while it is mostly made from gold, copper, and silver, it also has iridium in it, which according to the claims of the report, came from a meteorite. Torres stated that the mask could be one of the earliest known examples of human metal working.
Watching the News 6 video confused a lot of people. The introductory scene of Sparvero in the video confidently states that the mask is probably 10 to 12,000 years old. However, in reality, the Inca formed in the Cusco area of modern Peru, somewhere in the middle of the 12th century AD.
According to the suggestions of Professor Torres, that is an Inca funerary mask, and it was forged no longer than 800 years ago. However, some other archaeologists claim that a native civilization smelted the mask possibly thousands of years BC.
Although Torres claims that the mask is Inca, right after that, he also says that it might be the primary proof of smelting in South America. However, that was thousands of years before the formation of Inca.
Searching for more reliable facts, clarity may be found in one excellent research paper, the Metallurgy in Southern South America, which is written by three of the leading scholars on ancient metallurgy in the world, Colin A. Cooke, Mark B Abbott, and Alexander P. Wolfe.
These three scientists stated that the earliest evidence to date for smelting activity in southern South America comes in the form of copper slang from the Wankarani site in the highlands of Bolivia dating between 900 and 700 BCE.
So, according to the work of the three of them, the very oldest the mask can be 2,500 years old. However, the symbolism doesn’t match the iconography of any of the South American cultures during that time and is classically Inca. Taking everything into consideration, the mask has probably been made between the sixth and the eight hundred years ago.
Another quite important aspect which should be taken in consideration is an omission or miss-truth in the report, in the claim which says that the inclusion of iridium in the mask came from a meteorite – this is definitely a lie. David A. Scott from the Institute of Archaeology, the London University, wrote his seminal paper in the year 1980, which is titled Ancient Platinum Technology in South America Its use by the Indians in Pre-Hispanic Times.
One of the key findings in his seminar paper, which is known by every metallurgy expert, is that the occurrence of iridium as small inclusion in the ancient gold work was not deliberate alloying addition, but it often found in alluvial deposits which are connected with gold.
Scott came to the conclusion that gold which was found in placer deposits gives rise to the unintentional presence of the platinoid inclusions, especially of the iridium-osmium-ruthenium group. So, the presence of iridium in the Inca mask which was found in Florida is accidental, and the Inca metal workers were not even aware of its inclusion. Hence, the entire idea that the mask has come from a special Inca tomb is based on an assumption.
The way in which it works in Florida is that when Torres and Seafarer Exploration Corporation find the shipwreck and also recover its treasure, they retain 80% of the value, while Florida keeps the remaining 20%.
Torres already stated that it is going to be kept in a collection, and also preserved for public viewing, and when he asked if he is about to become a billionaire, he stroked his beard and also said maybe.
Image: Example of a gold Inca mask. (Guacamoliest/ CC BY NC SA 2.0 )