Explorer Says He's Found the Wreck of Christopher Columbus' Santa Maria

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 13 2014 10:34 AM

Explorer Says He's Found the Wreck of Christopher Columbus' Santa Maria

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A replica of the Santa Maria.

Photo by Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images

A History Channel-financed group says it may have found the remains of Christopher Columbus' ship Santa Maria near Haiti. From the UK Independent:

Tentatively identifying the wreck as the Santa Maria has been made possible by quite separate discoveries made by other archaeologists in 2003 suggesting the probable location of Columbus’ fort relatively nearby. Armed with this new information about the location of the fort, Clifford was able to use data in Christopher Columbus’ diary to work out where the wreck should be.
An expedition, mounted by his team a decade ago, had already found and photographed the wreck – but had not, at that stage, realized its probable identity.
It’s a current re-examination of underwater photographs from that initial survey (carried out back in 2003), combined with data from recent reconnaissance dives on the site (carried out by Clifford’s team earlier this month), that have allowed Clifford to tentatively identify the wreck as that of the Santa Maria.
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The ship sank in 1492 a few months after Columbus "discovered" the Americas. For what it's worth, credibility-wise, Clifford is associated with the National Geographic Society, and the expedition included a professor who's on the faculty at Indiana University.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

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