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Spanish Galleon Wreckage Discovered Off Coast of Colombia

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Colombia San JoseCAPE COD, MASSACHUSETTS—CBS News reports that the wreckage of San José has been discovered under 2,000 feet of water off the coast of Colombia by a team of researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Maritime Archaeology Consultants, Switzerland AG, and the Colombian government. The ship, a three-masted Spanish galleon carrying 62 guns and a cargo of ceramics, gold, silver, and emeralds, sank in 1708 during a battle with British ships that was part of the War of Spanish Succession. The ship was identified by its engraved bronze cannons, which were first spotted on the sea floor by research engineer Jeff Kaeli of WHOI using the REMUS 6000, a remotely operated vehicle carrying cameras and sensors. “I’m not a marine archaeologist, but ... I know what a cannon looks like,” he said. “So in that moment, I guess I was the only person in the world who knew we’d found the shipwreck.” The government of Colombia plans to build a museum and conservation lab to preserve and display San Jose’s artifacts. To read about pages of a book found in a shipwreck, go to “The Pirate Book Club.”

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