"This dive confirms for me that the site has not been disturbed since 1991, when I was last there," Bob Evans, chief scientist and historian for the Recovery Limited Partnership, which legally owns the shipwreck, said in a statement.
Besides the gold bars and coins, the two-hour expedition also uncovered a bottle, a piece of pottery, a sample of the shipwreck's wooden structure and part of a scientific experiment that had been left at the site 20 years ago, company officials said.
"The skill exhibited and results achieved during the initial reconnaissance dive reinforces our belief that the Odyssey team was the absolute best choice for this project," Craig Mullen, director of operations for the Recovery Limited Partnership, said in a statement.
The Odyssey team also plans to collect biological samples from the shipwreck site, which could offer researchers a glimpse into deep-ocean biological processes, company officials said.
The SS Central America was 280-feet-long (85 meters), and was christened the SS George Law when it first launched in 1853. The steamship operated during the California Gold Rush on the Atlantic leg of voyages between San Francisco and New York. As such, the ship made 43 round trips between Panama and New York before it sank.
Original article on Live Science.
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