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Researchers Will Search for Spanish Treasure Ship

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Spanish Galleon SearchMEXICO CITY, MEXICO—The Guardian reports that researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History and Spain’s National Museum of Underwater Archaeology will renew their search for Nuestra Señora del Juncal, a Spanish galleon that was carrying more than 100 tons of New World gold, silver, jewels, cacao, dyes, and animal hides when it sank off the coast of Mexico in a storm in October 1631. The Juncal’s commander had died before it set sail, and the ship began taking on water before the storm hit. The crew threw cannon and other heavy objects overboard, but the ship was lost. Only 39 of the 300 on board survived. “Because the cargo was so valuable—it was carrying lots of ingots—the authorities had a detailed inventory,” explained Iván Negueruela of Spain’s National Museum of Underwater Archaeology. “The survivors were also questioned in-depth and their statements help us to reconstruct what happened with quite a high degree of accuracy, so we have a fairly good idea of where the ship sank.” Negueruela also said the shipwreck could offer new information on how galleons were constructed in the first half of the seventeenth century, and will serve as a training ground for the next generation of underwater archaeologists. To read about the discovery of notable shipwrecks, go to "History's 10 Greatest Wrecks..."

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