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FANTASTIC FIND MADE BY MAREX TREASURE DIVERS

 FANTASTIC FIND MADE BY MAREX TREASURE DIVERS
 MEMPHIS, Tenn., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of gold and silver


bars have been found by divers in the ruins of a Spanish galleon wrecked four centuries ago off the coast of the Bahamas.
 Divers for Marex International also brought up hundreds of silver coins minted during the reign of Philip II of Spain, and items of porcelain dating to the Ming Dynasty of China.
 Silver dinner plates, a silver dog figure, ivory elephant tusks and numerous other items were also found in the wreckage of the ship, which has not yet been identified.
 Another mystery surrounds an English cannon which apparently was aboard the Spanish vessel. The cannon bears the inscription "Henricus Octavius" and "John and Robert Owen made thys pece, anno dom 1543." But, the 10-foot, 2300-pound bronze "saker," as such artillery pieces were know at the time, also bears a hand-carved Spanish symbol and a later date.
 One possible explanation: the weapon from the English navy of King Henry VIII was captured by the Spanish in a naval engagement.
 Captain Herbert Humphreys Jr., owner of Marex International and leader of the expedition, was searching for the mother lode of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de las Maravillas when the latest find was made. Judging from the age of the recently found artifacts, Humphreys does not believe they came from the Maravillas, which sank in 1656, several decades later than the mystery ship apparently sank.
 Humphreys, a Memphis, Tenn., businessman whose undersea archaeology and recovery firm is also headquartered there, has been searching for the Maravillas since 1986. Though he and his team have not yet discovered the sterncastle of the ship, which would have contained the majority of the ship's valuable cargo, they have recovered a dazzling array of treasure from the debris trail of the wreck.
 The most notable item recovered so far is the Maravillas cross. It and a companion brooch are fashioned from gold and Colombian emeralds. The cross, which had been bound for the royal courts of Europe before it disappeared three centuries ago, recently brought a king's ransom in auction at Christie's of London.
 Marex also has operations underway in Vero Beach, Florida, and earlier this year participated jointly in an expedition off the coast of Central America with Comex Marine Salvage of France.
 -0- 8/6/92
 /CONTACT: Hank Hudson, Marex International, 901-681-0100, or Curt Guenther of Humphreys-Price, 901-761-1080, for Marex International/ CO: Marex International ST: Tennessee IN: SU:


JZ -- CHFNS1 -- 7375 08/06/92 07:32 EDT
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Date:Aug 6, 1992
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