Hawaii Museum Recovers Artifacts Lost In Shipwreck 191 Years Ago

A museum in Hawaii is preparing to open a treasure-trove of artifacts lost in a royal yacht’s shipwreck off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai; the ship sank 191 years ago.

Richard Rogers, a shipwreck chaser in Hawaii, has worked with Smithsonian Institution to recover the artifacts from the ship, which was owned by King Kamehameha II, the second king of Hawaii, also known as Liholiho, according to The Washington Post.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Richard Rogers”]

We found gold, silver, Hawaiian poi pounders, gemstones, a boat whistle, knives, forks, mica, things from all over the world, high- and low-end European stuff. Every bit of it is royal treasure.


Rogers said it’s all pickled and nice; ready for display. He recovered over a thousand invaluable artifacts over a period of five years, from 1995 to 2001, while aboard his research vessel, the Piliaoha. He indicated that his favorite discovery was a trumpet shell.

Kamehameha II purchased the yacht from George Crowninshield II in 1816. According to historian and Kauai Museum volunteer Zenon Wong, it cost $50,000 to build the 192 ton yacht. Rogers said that it is the first luxury ocean-going yacht built in the United States.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Paul F. Johnston” author_title=”Ph.D., Curator of Maritime History at the National Museum of American History Smithsonian Institution”]

The principal value of the artifacts is historical. They represent the only known objects from the short but intense reign of Kamehameha II, the man who abolished the Hawaiian kapu (taboo) socio-cultural system and allowed Christian missionaries into the kingdom.


The state of Hawaii owns the artifacts and loaned them to the Smithsonian for conservation and study, according to Fox News. The findings were in custody since the moment they were recovered with the exception of some artifacts which are scheduled to be sent to the Underwater Conservation Lab at Texas A&M University.

In an unrelated story we covered here on Immortal News back in February, a mummified monk was found inside of a 1,000-year-old Buddha statue. The mummified remains are believed to be those of Buddhist master Liu Quan, who was a member of the Chinese Meditation School.

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