Here's another article following up on the find of old Spanish coins in Utah. Thanks to The Explorator newsletter for the link.
Today, the mystery of how two ancient Spanish coins wound up near Lake Powell isn't solved. Though it is a bit clearer.
"Where he found them, the way he found them, I was skeptical at first," Harmon said. Ancient coins don't suddenly appear in places they
don't belong, especially in plain sight. "They're just so unusual."
Harmon's initial thought was that they were brought by Spanish explorers. However, the coins — one believed to be from the 13th century, the other
from the mid-1600s — predated the first known Spanish presence in the area (the Dominguez and Escalante Expedition of 1776) by decades.
Harmon's second theory, which he found much more tantalizing, was that the coins somehow found their way to Native Americans, who used them in
"I really tried to keep my mind open," Harmon said. "I was very excited. These aren't the kinds of things I come across in the normal course of my
In the meantime, Harmon sent colleagues to the spot where the hiker reported finding the coins. He told them to look for spots from which the
coins may have eroded. Based on their ages, the coins should have been buried by layers of sediment. Perhaps they emerged from an alcove, or some
other natural deposit.
The reports back from the site were disappointing. There were no clear points of origin, just bits of scattered trash, most likely from passing
Then there was the coins' disparate dates. Harmon couldn't bring himself to believe coins minted centuries apart could have wound up in the
same hands, be they Spanish explorers or Native Americans.
That steered Harmon toward his most disappointing, and now likely, theory — that the coins were part of a modern collection that somehow wound up
near Halls Crossing.
To read the complete article, see:
a mystery: How did two ancient Spanish coins wind up near Lake Powell?
To read an earlier E-Sylum article, see:
UTAH SPANISH COIN FIND: NEVERMIND
Wayne Homren, Editor
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