Pile of Underwater Wreckage May be Columbus' Santa Maria

The leader of an undersea expedition says a pile of wreckage on the bottom of the Caribbean Sea, off the north coast of Haiti, may well mark the spot where Christopher Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria, sank in 1492.

"All the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that this wreck is Columbus’ famous flagship, the Santa Maria," team leader Barry Clifford is quoted as saying by The Independent, a British newspaper.

Clifford said the next step would be to work with the Haitian government on a detailed excavation of the wreck.

The claim is based on photographic documentation of the underwater site, plus Clifford's interpretation of previous research that identified the location of La Navidad, the fortified settlement that Columbus established on the coast of present-day Haiti after the Santa Maria ran aground on Christmas Day, 1492. The Independent quoted Clifford as saying that the location of the wreckage site was consistent with descriptions set down in Columbus' diary.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/santa-maria-found-wreck-may-be-columbus-sunken-flagship-n103766

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