Hawaiian King's Treasures Home After 191 Years

Author: Kate Seamons [Newser]

A shipwreck hunter describes it as the first luxury ocean-going yacht built in the US, one that reportedly hit a shallow reef in April 1824, when everyone on board—save, perhaps, the captain—may have been drunk. Though no one is recorded to have died, the 83-foot ship, which belonged to the second king of Hawaii, went down off Hanalei. And 191 years later, the artifacts the Ha’aheo o Hawaii (Pride of Hawaii) held for so long at the bottom of the sea are going home. “We found gold, silver, Hawaiian poi pounders, gemstones, a boat whistle, knives … Every bit of it is royal treasure,” Richard Rogers tells the AP, putting the item-count at more than 1,000. He, in tandem with Smithsonian Institution scientists, surfaced King Kamehameha II’s treasures between 1995 and 2001 after receiving what the Star-Bulletin reported at the time were the first underwater archaeological permits granted by the state.

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