Archaeologists may have unearthed a missing piece of history. After 500 years, the wreck of the Santa Maria at the bottom of the sea off the north coast of Haiti. You may remember from 10th grade history that the Santa Maria was the flagship of Christopher Columbus.
Barry Clifford, the leader of the expedition, told The Independent that all the evidence strongly “suggests that this wreck is Columbus’ famous flagship, the Santa Maria.”
Columbus took three ships and sailed the ocean blue in 1942. He set sail with three ships, The Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. The Niña and Pinta made it back to Spain. The Santa Maria never did.
In order to find the lost ship, archaeologists used the discovery of the site of Columbus’ fort and the explorer’s journal to narrow down the area the wreck could be.
The site is also an exact match in terms of historical knowledge about the underwater topography associated with the loss of the Santa Maria. The local currents are also consistent with what is known historically about the way the vessel drifted immediately prior to its demise.
The ship that was found is even the size of what the Santa Maria is expected or it is a doppleganger. The plan now is to excavate the wreck and hopefully lift it out to conserve it and put it on display in a museum in Haiti. If this is Columbus’ ship, Clifford told The Independent that it’ll be the “first ever detailed marine archaeological evidence of Columbus’ discovery of America.”