Sunken Spanish galleon found in Dominican Republic

A Spanish galleon from Spain that sunk off the coast of the Dominican Republic at the end of the 17th century has been recovered by divers. The unknown vessel, which bears the words Soli Deo Gloria (Latin for ‘only God the Glory’) was found by underwater investigators a few miles out to sea in Nagua, to the north-east of the island. In addition to the galleon, the divers have also discovered navigation compasses and tools used for measuring the water’s depth, together with silver coins, a pistol, sword-sheaths and other wartime implements. They also found ornaments and jewellery, including a ring with eight diamonds embedded into it.

If the investigators had been in any doubt that the ship was Spanish, finding plates bearing manufacturers’ stamps that included castles, lions and fleur de lis would have given away the galleon’s origin. These were coated with engraved silver, and were found alongside bronze candle-holders. It was known that a Spanish ship sank in the Atlantic ocean, in the province of María Trinidad Sánchez in the Dominican Republic and near the Boba river, between 1690 and 1700.

But subaquatic investigations that have been ongoing since 1983 in the hands of USA-based sea archaeology company Marine Exploration have only just uncovered the vessel.

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