Colombia to Start Exploration of Sunken San José Galleon, ‘the Biggest Treasure in the History of Humanity’

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To speak of a sunken treasure worth tens of billions sounds like fiction.

But that is the reality about to be salvaged from the bottom of the Caribbean Sea.

The wreckage of the Spanish warship San José, that has laid undiscovered at the bottom of the ocean for centuries, contains what the Colombian government calls ‘the biggest treasure in the history of humanity.’

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But such riches can only be enjoyed once the galleon is fully explored at the bottom of the sea.

Now, Colombia’s government has announced plans for a deep-water expedition to explore the mythical San José, a warship sunk in the 18th century after an attack from British ships.

Associated Press reported:

“The first phase of the scientific research into the deep waters around the shipwreck will collect information to determine which pieces are suitable and possible to extract. The wreckage is 600 meters (almost 2,000 feet) deep in the sea.

Colombia located the galleon in 2015 but it has since been mired in legal and diplomatic disputes, and its exact location is a state secret. The government says it will invest around $4.5 million this year in an archaeological exploration of the 62-gun, three-masted galleon that sank in 1708 after being ambushed by an English squadron on its way to Cartagena.”

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The expedition would start in spring, depending on the weather. A submerging robotic equipment connected to a navy ship will explore the wreckage.

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Using cameras and keeping a detailed record of its movements, the robot will be positioned in connection with a satellite that is in geostationary orbit.

“Carlos Reina Martínez, archaeologist and leader of the submerged cultural heritage of ICANH, said the operation seeks to discover what life was like for the 600 people on board the boat when it sank and to study daily life, the cargo, artillery and merchandise of the colonial era in America.

‘It is time to claim the heritage elements for which the remains of the galleon should be valued’, said Juan David Correa, Colombia’s minister of culture, who insisted that the value of the wreck is patrimonial and not monetary. ‘History is the treasure’.”

The San José treasure has been estimated to be worth as much as 20 billion dollars in the form of 11 million gold and silver coins, emeralds, and other precious cargo from Spanish-controlled colonies.

The ship is the subject of a legal battle in the United States, Colombia, and Spain over who owns the rights to the sunken treasure.

Read more about it below:

The San Jose Galleon, the ‘Biggest Sunken Treasure in History’, Hasn’t Been Salvaged Yet – But It’s Already Causing Dispute in Court

 

Source material can be found at this site.

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