A three-mast Spanish Navy galleon called the San José once sailed the seas in the 1690s as a Spanish treasure fleet during the War of the Spanish Succession.
Accompanied by three Spanish warships and 14 merchant vessels, the San José had its final voyage.
The ship sank in battle in 1708 near Colombia’s Caribbean port of Cartagena.
At the time, most of her crew and a cargo of gold, silver, emeralds, and jewellery, believed to be worth billions today, was lost in the sea’s sand.
Ever since, the treasure trove galleon has been highly sought after, with expeditions out to look for her and her goods.
But the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) got to the sunken treasure before anyone else, discovering San José 600 metres underwater in 2015:
The Colombian government announced a salvage operation and classified the location of the galleon as a state secret, constitutionally obliged to protect and preserve the ship and all of its sunken contents.
The San José was recognised by her bronze guns engraved with dolphins:
And then, as the Colombian navy was monitoring the site recently, they chanced upon two new historical shipwrecks in the area, PetaPixel reports:
Remarkable video footage taken by diving crews and published by Reuters shows a plethora of 18th-century artifacts including gold ingots and coins, cannons made in Seville in 1655, and an intact Chinese dinner service.
A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) reached 900 meters in depth, naval officials say in a video statement, where it sent back new videos of the San Jose galleon site.
The vehicle also discovered two other nearby wrecks — a colonial boat and a schooner thought to be from around the same period as Colombia’s war for independence from Spain, some 200 years ago.
The navy commander Admiral Gabriel Perez is really excited that there are now two other discoveries in the same area, “that show other options for archaeological exploration”.
Take a look at the treasures found recently, including fun artefacts like jugs, vases, crockery, and coins:
Archaeologists from the navy and government are working to determine the origin of each piece found.
Looks like the seas are reaping massive rewards for us these days.
Don’t forget how earlier this year Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship the legendary Endurance, which sank 107 years ago, was found in near-perfect condition in Antarctica.
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