Taj Mahal Sunken Treasure 1702

Arthur C Clarke Taj Mahal Sunken TreasureCoins “Like the Shining Full Moon in the World”

Just over three hundred years ago, an amerind trader sailed from the bustling port of Surat, India, bound for the Far East via “ the Spice Route. ” She carried a treasure to satiate desire : bulge after udder, containing 1,000 coins each, of finely minted silver rupees. The rupees had been minted by order of Shah Aurangzeb Alamgir ( 1618-1707 ), the sixth and last great Mughal ( Mogul ) emperor of India. Aurangzeb was the son of Shah Jahan, builder of the most brilliant memorial in the earth : the sun-white, glistening, marble towered Taj Mahal, built as a memorial to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

On its way to the East, the trader credibly put in at the portuguese trade post on the bantam island of Ceylon ( stage sidereal day Sri Lanka ), but calamity struck as it continued on its voyage around the southern topple of the island. Those waiting for her fall to Surat never left any record of the loss. And it is doubtful Aurangzeb ever missed his rupees.

In 1961, the remains of the shipwreck was discovered, and in 1963, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, and his honkytonk associates recovered the treasure on the punic Great Basses Reef. Buried among the debris were concreted masses of eloquent rupees. Flowing across the obverse, precisely below the date, is the poetic couple “ Shah Aurangzeb Alamgir, the rule, toilet adorner, earth grasper, struck coin in the worldly concern like the shining full Moon. ”

Further transformation indicated that the coins had been minted in Surat, India, in the Hijri year AH 1113, or the latter partially and begin of the Gregorian years 1701 and 1702, during the 45th and 46th regnal years of Emperor Aurangzeb. Until the Great Basses discovery, no early examples of these coins were known to exist.

Most people know Clarke as the Nobel-nominated “ father of satellite communications, ” and the writer of “ 2001 : A Space Odyssey ” among about 100 other books. But few know about his liveliness before “ 2001 : A Space Odyssey. ”

By about 1956, Clarke had tired of the English weather and adopted the tropical Ceylon ( as it was known rear then ) as his new dwelling. He was an avid aqualung diver and frequently wrote about submerged exploration along with his science papers and science fiction stories.

In 1961, his dive collaborator and subaqueous photographer, Mike Wilson, was exploring Great Basses Reef along with two boys from the american consulate. As they swam over one of the massive coral heads, the remains of a shipwreck came into opinion, scattered along the bottom. Among the debris were clusters of silver rupees, inactive in the shape of the bags that had once carried them. After 259 years, the destine of the indian trader was ultimately known.

An archaeological salvage expedition was planned for 1962, but Clarke was on the spur of the moment stricken with poliomyelitis. By 1963 he had regained some mobility, and the team returned to the reef. They recovered thousands of coins and many artifacts, but they did n’t get all of them. A year belated, Clarke published “ care for of the Great Reef ” for adults, and “ Indian Ocean Treasure, ” for new readers.

Clarke contacted Mendel Peterson, nautical curator at the Smithsonian Institution, and donated donated one of the mint clusters to the Smithsonian.

The argent rupees in our Taj Mahal Sunken Treasure collection are single to Cannon Beach Treasure Company. They are from Clarke ’ s personal collection and are the concluding that are available in our collection. Each coin comes with a fifteenth Anniversary Edition of Robert ’ s documentary, “ Arthur C. Clarke : return to the reef ” with about two hours of programs and behind the scenes videos with Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Fismer.

Personal Note from Robert: possibly one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had, right up there with swinging down over a 300-foot cliff and into a mine shaft deep in a mexican jungle, was four years working with Sir Arthur C. Clarke, bringing a little-known region of his life to light.

In the Florida Keys, I was working with celebrated treasure hunter Capt. Carl Fismer in the early 1990s when he acquired a number of silver medal rupees from retire Smithsonian curator, Mendel Peterson. Clarke had gifted rupees to both the Smithsonian Institution and Peterson for the work done to help identify the origins of the shipwreck.

I contacted Clarke, who was delighted to hear that person wanted to talk to him about something other than “ the meaning of ‘ 2001 : A Space Odyssey. ’ ” And after a class of plan, Fismer, and my brother, Richard, and I finally landed, halfway around the world, in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The plan was to interview Clarke and go diving on the shipwreck.

Clarke suffered from post-polio syndrome and was largely confined to walking aides and a wheelchair and therefore would n’t be diving with us. But when we arrived, he gleefully announced that he would be joining us … for a dive – alone his second in about 30 years ! obviously he had seen my objective, Where Wheelchairs Are not Allowed, about aqualung divers with disabilities, and told me, “ I ‘m Carl Lewis compared to your divers. ” A few days late we took Arthur to a depth of over 100 feet.

Near the end of my documentary, “ Arthur C. Clarke : before 2001, ” Clarke exclaims, “ If I never do another honkytonk, this will be a good way to go out – beautiful ! ”

Due to weather, we were never able to dive on Great Basses Reef. And Clarke left an afford invitation to return to dive again, and to flush attempt to salvage the remaining prize and donate it to the museum in Colombo. But that was n’t to be.

As it turned out, that was Clarke ’ s end prima donna. In 2008, he passed on to the Great Reef in the flip.

And as I sit here nowadays, writing this, I can still hear Clarke, in his deep british stress, reading the conclusion of “ treasure of the Great Reef ” : “ No theatrical designer could have contrived a more brilliant phase setting. We seemed to be looking straight into the heart of fantasy world. And I found myself thinking, as the ignite lento faded from the Western sky, that the smasher ahead of us was no magic trick, no mere flim-flam of sun and cloud, but it was real, and we were returning to it with our cargo of hard-won care for. ”

Shop our exclusive ( and very limited ) solicitation of Taj Mahal Sunken Treasure shipwreck coins here >

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