UNESCO: Haiti Shipwreck Not Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria


Above: a survey of the site (Photo: UNESCO)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

While their initial discovery received global attention, the remains of a shipwreck off the coast of Haiti do not belong to Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria ship, according to UNESCO.

The remains were first discovered by underwater explorer Bill Clifford, who first visited the site in 2013.

But following a survey by UNESCO experts, the global cultural organization said the remains were too recent to be those of the Santa Maria.

“There is now incontestable proof that the wreck is from a much later period,” UNESCO said in a statement.

According to UNESCO, the bronze or copper fasteners on the site point to shipbuilding techniques of the 17th or 18th centuries, not of the late 15th century.

UNECSO also said that the wreck was too far from the shore to be that of the Santa Maria, according to the journal of Columbus himself.

Haiti had first sought confirmation from UNESCO in a letter by Haiti Culture Minister Monique Rocourt in June.


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