18th century Spanish warship unearthed in Argentine

5th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

The remains of a Spanish galleon were found during excavations for a parking lot near Buenos Aires.

BUENOS AIRES – The remains of an 18th century Spanish galleon were found in a marshy area near Buenos Aires during excavations for a parking lot, in what experts Tuesday called the biggest archaeological find in the city's history.

"We presume it's a Spanish galleon from the 1700s. So far, it has yielded several cannons, a pair of jugs we think were used to carry olive oil, and timber from the ship," archaeologist Gonzalo Valenzuela told reporters at the digs in Puerto Madero.

He said finding gold coins or other treasure at the site was highly unlikely since the ship ran aground near the Plate River shoreline, which would have made it easy for locals to plunder whatever valuables were aboard.

Experts believe the vessel, which has yet to be identified, was a Spanish warship that was driven onshore by a storm. It was buried under seven metres of mud.

The remains were found during excavations for a parking lot in a development under construction in Buenos Aires' rapidly-expanding, upscale Puerto Madero neighbourhood.

Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri said the galleon and everything it contains belong to the citizens of the Argentine capital.

"This discovery would have been impossible without this year's growing awareness of our national historical heritage. This awareness yielded an unexpected prize, which is this wonder," he said pointing to the galleon.

[AFP / Expatica]

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