Archaeologists find silver, gold pirate treasure in Madagascar

Archaeologists find silver, gold pirate treasure in Madagascar

Diver picks up ingot worth about US$26,000 believed to be part of Capt. William Kidd’s treasure. (Image by The Presidency of Madagascar via Twitter)

Underwater explorers believe they have discovered treasure belonging to the notorious 17th-Century Scottish pirate William Kidd in the waters off Madagascar.

A 50kg silver bar,worth about US$26,000 was brought to shore on Thursday on the island of Sainte Marie, from what is thought to be the wreck of the Adventure Galley ship and presented to Madagascar's president at a special ceremony, The Daily Mail reported.

Archaeologists find silver, gold pirate treasure in Madagascar

The spot where the silver bar was found. Just off the coast in shallow water. (Image by @martinvogl)

The joint U.S./U.K. archaeological research team believe there are many more such bars still in the wreck.

U.S. marine archaeologist Barry Clifford, who found the massive ingot, is no stranger to amazing finds. In 1984, he located the pirate ship Whydah off Massachusetts' Cape Cod, the "only verified pirate shipwreck ever found in U.S. waters," according to National Geographic. The treasure of the Whydah, which went down in 1717, included gold and silver coins, African jewellery and weaponry.

Archaeologists find silver, gold pirate treasure in Madagascar

BBC reporter Martin Vogl tweeted a number of images from Madagascar. He said Clifford's team had no doubt that the discovery is genuine.

Clifford also led an expedition that was thought to have found the Christopher Columbus ship Santa Maria, but a UNESCO team later determined the ship dated from much later.

The scientist’s work in Madagascar dates back to at least 1999 when his team found Kidd's ship Adventure Galley.

Capt. William Kidd was hanged for piracy in 1701.

Archaeologists find silver, gold pirate treasure in Madagascar

Captain Kidd portrayed impressing women in New York Harbour (Image from Wikimedia Commons)