Spanish Sword (cast)

  • Spanish Sword (cast)
  • Spanish Sword (cast)

Archaeologists recovered a chunk of coral from a Spanish shipwreck, and x-rays revealed a hollow space where a metal sword had disintegrated. This sword is a cast made by pumping resin into the hollow.


Spanish Sword (Cast) by Gifford Waters

This is from a shipwreck that was found off the East Coast of Florida, likely dating to the 17th or 18th century. When archaeologists were excavating the ship they found a large chunk of coral which they brought up and had X-rayed. The X-ray showed that the coral had grown around a sword that had been lost, and over time the sword had deteriorated leaving a hollow hole where it once had been. Archaeologists pumped the coral full of resin, which hardened, and they broke the coral apart and it left this cast of the sword.

Gifford Waters
Collection Manager, Historical Archaeology
Florida Museum of Natural History


Spanish Sword (cast)
From the East Coast of Florida
Dates to 17th–18th century

Exhibit Area

Objects Tell Stories


Spanish Colonial Archaeology

Spanish Sword (cast)Radha Krueger