Discoveries show new ‘options for archaeological exploration’, officials say
Two more shipwrecks have been found while officials monitored a sunken vessel in the Caribbean Sea that was believed to be carrying lost treasure worth billions.
They were discovered near the San Jose galleon, which sits off the coast of Colombia and is considered the holy grail of shipwrecks.
Authorities were monitoring the wreckage with an underwater vehicle when they noticed two other sunken vessels nearby.
These were a colonial boat and a schooner thought to be from around the same period as Colombia‘s war for independence from Spain around 200 years ago.
Navy commander Admiral Gabriel Perez said: “We now have two other discoveries in the same area, that show other options for archaeological exploration.”
The underwater operation took videos of the San Jose and offers the best-yet view of the treasure onboard, which is believed to be worth around £13bn.
This includes gold ingots and coins, cannons made in Seville in 1655 and an intact Chinese dinner service. Archaeologists from the navy and government are working to determine the origin of the plates based on inscriptions, officials said.
Ivan Duque, the Colombian president, said: “The idea is to recover it and to have sustainable financing mechanisms for future extractions. In this way we protect the treasure, the patrimony of the San Jose galleon.”
The San Jose galleon – which was part of the fleet that fought the English during the War of the Spanish Succession – sank in 1708 in the Caribbean Sea near the Colombian city of Cartagena.
When it was discovered in 2015, then-president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, called it the “most valuable treasure that has been found in the history of humanity”.