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Columbus’ Santa Maria found in Haitian wreck

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Last Updated: May 14, 2014

An underwater explorer discovered Christopher Columbus’ flagship Santa Maria in Haiti.

Underwater explorer Barry Clifford believes the sunken shipwreck he discovered off Haiti is the long-lost remains of the flagship Christopher Columbus used in his first voyage to America.

Clifford told CNN that he is very confident that every piece of the shipwreck fits the Santa Maria description, and now they have to undergo all the required archaeological processes, which they plan to do in the next few months.

If it is confirmed that the shipwreck discovered is indeed Santa Maria, then it will be the most important underwater discovery in history.

Clifford, who is already 68, said that the shipwreck is as important as climbing Mount Everest for him.

Indiana University archaeologist Charles Beeker is also confident that Barry has discovered the Santa Maria Columbus used dating back to 1492. Beeker said Tuesday that the evidences are very compelling.

The shipwreck was found in the exact place where Columbus said it aground over 500 years ago, according to Clifford.

Clifford found the Santa Maria stuck on a reef just off the northern coast of Haiti. It is 10 to 15 feet under the water.

Clifford will return to Haiti next month to discuss with the authorities what to do next about the finding.

Santa Maria was the flagship of Columbus that set sail from Spain along with a small fleet. The voyage was sponsored by King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I of Spain dating back August 1492. The voyage was supposed to find route to China and India due west to gain access to the spices and gold of the East, but they landed on an island in the Caribbean.

Before any confirmation, archaeologists will still have to excavate and study the shipwreck to determine whether it is really the Santa Maria of Columbus.

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