Old wreck is found – level 3
Buried within the wreckage of a Spanish galleon is thought to be thousands of emeralds, and gold and silver coins.
Gold worth hundreds of thousands of pounds have previously been found under the Caribbean seas and the Gulf of Mexico.
Historians think the precious jewels and coins contained within the San Jose sank off the coast of Cartagena in 1708. A team of international experts, the Colombian navy and the country’s archaeological institute discovered the wreckage last week near the island of Baru.
The Columbian president said the ship, which sank off the Caribbean coast, was found in Columbian waters. He explained that 600 people died in the shipwreck and that the archaeological discovery corresponds to the lost San Jose galleon ship.
Sonar images have so far revealed bronze cannons made specifically for the ship, ceramics and other artefacts. Archaeological excavation and scientific tests on the wreck will continue to ensure it can be properly preserved.
The San Jose has been the subject of a legal dispute between Colombia and the SSA, a US-based salvage company who claims they found the area where the ship sank. In 2011, a US court agreed the proceeds from the wreckage would belong to Colombia.
It’s unclear yet whether the remains will be brought to dry land.
Difficult words: galleon (an old and large sailing ship from Spain), emerald (a bright green stone), precious (of great value), artefact (a historical object), excavation (digging), salvage (to find something in a destroyed place), claim (to say).
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