Sci Station Canada

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Arctic yields fresh evidence for Elizabethan gold swindle

Speaking of GeoSciences, the boundaries between disciplines is breaking down nowadays. A recent feature by EurekAlert shows how scientists are helping Archaeologists solve the mysteries of the past.

In 1578 British mariner Martin Frobisher found a strange black ore on what is now known was Kodlunarn Island, in Frobisher Bay. After having it tested by his own assayers he loaded 12 ships with tons of the black ore and sailed it back to London where it was hailed as an Arctic Eldorado. Was this a massive con job on Elizabeth I and her court, or did Frobisher's assayers mistakenly dupe themselves into believing they'd found gold?

Two Laval University scientists say there's solid evidence that Frobisher and his chemists were in on a massive fraud.

For more on this and other cases where Earth Scientists have aided archaology, see the June 2004, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, which has a number of articles in that vein.


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