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Home / US / Arab coins found in the United States may solve the mystery of 17th-century pirates | Archaeology

Arab coins found in the United States may solve the mystery of 17th-century pirates | Archaeology



A few coins picked from an orchard in Rhode Island and other random corners of New England may solve a hundreds-year-old cold case.

The villain of this story: a murdered British pirate who robbed a ship from Mecca carrying Muslim pilgrims home from India, became the most wanted criminal in the world, and was arrested as a slave trader. .

Amateur historian and metal detective Jim Bailey discovered the first complete 1

7th-century Arabian coin on the grass in Middletown.

That old change-this is the oldest change ever made in North America-can explain the disappearance of the pirate captain Ever Henry Capt.

On September 7, 1695, under the command of Every, the pirate ship Fancy ambushed and captured the royal ship Ganj-i-Sawai owned by the Indian Emperor Aurangzeb. This was the time One of the most powerful people in the world. There were not only pilgrims returning to the place of pilgrimage, but also gold and silver worth tens of millions of dollars.

What followed was one of the most profitable and heinous robberies in history. Historical records say that everyone’s band tortured and killed the men on the Indian ship and raped the women before they fled to the Bahamas.

Their crimes spread quickly, and under tremendous pressure from the scandal-stricken Indian and East India Company trading giants, King William III of England offered a large reward. “Everyone is looking for these guys,” Bailey said

Metal detective Jim Bailey (Jim Bailey).
Metal detective Jim Bailey (Jim Bailey). Photo: Steven Senne/Associated Press

Until now, historians only know that everyone finally sailed to Ireland in 1696, where the trails were cold. But Bailey said that the coins he and others found proved that this notorious pirate entered the American colony for the first time, and that he and his crew used looted items to pay for daily expenses while running.

The first complete coin surfaced at Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown in 2014. Two years ago, he discovered that Bailey’s curiosity was because he found old colonial coins, an 18th century shoe buckle and some Musket ball.

He waved a metal detector on the soil, got a signal, dug it down, and found a dark silver coin, which he initially thought was a Spanish coin or money minted in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Staring at the coin, the Arabic words made his heart beat faster.

Research confirms that this exotic coin was minted in Yemen in 1693. Bailey said this raises questions because there is no evidence that American colonists struggled to survive in the new world and did not go to trade anywhere in the Middle East until decades later.

Since then, other detectives have unearthed 15 Arab coins from the same period-10 in Massachusetts, 3 in Rhode Island, and 2 in Connecticut. The other was found in North Carolina, where records show that some of everyone was initially ashore.

“Some of his crew seem to be able to settle in New England and integrate into society,” said Sarah Spotman, a state archaeologist in Connecticut. One was found during an ongoing excavation of a 17th-century farm site in 2018. coin. She said: “It’s almost like a money laundering plan.”

Although it sounds unbelievable now, everyone can pretend to be a slave trader to hide in sight. Slave trader was a new profession in New England in the 1690s. Bailey said that on the way to the Bahamas, he even stopped on the French island of Reunion and kidnapped some black captives so that he could look like a part.

Obscure records indicate that a ship named “Flower of the Sea” used by pirates after abandoning fantasy sailed along the eastern coast. It arrived in Newport, Rhode Island with nearly four dozen slaves in 1696 and became the main hub of the North American slave trade in the 18th century.

Bailey, 53, said: “There is a lot of raw material that shows that American colonies are the base for piracy.” Bailey has a degree in anthropology from the University of Rhode Island, and served as an archaeological assistant in the exploration of the Wydah Gally Corsair Cape Cod was destroyed in the late 1980s.


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