Ancient keel could belong to 18th century ship chased by English pirates

CREDIT: Aurora Gema Lozano - Facebook

AN ANCIENT keel that could have belonged to a ship sunk off the coast of Isla Cristina in the 18th century has been found by an underwater archaeologist from Huelva University.

The archaeologist Claudio Lozano found the keel on the Casita Azul beach in Huelva when he was going from the public parking area down to the shore.

He explained to local Spanish daily Huelva Informacion that it was where the waves were breaking, following the shoreline, and had probably been swept to shore by the strong currents of the previous day.

He explained that the beam is made of oak and measures 4.58 metres which is exactly eight cubits in the measurement system which was used at the time by boat builders. It is 20cm wide and 14cm high and well preserved.

He also pointed out that evidence suggest that until not long ago it was still attached to other pieces of the structure, such as frames or floors, and five holes can be seen in which bronze bolts would have been placed.

As soon as he found it, he alerted the local council, the police and the Guardia Civil, as well as local researchers, as he thinks it warrants being thoroughly studied.

It has already aroused the interest of the Guardia Civil Underwater Activities Group, as teams have been diving in the area, as well as the head of the local Department of Heritage, Soledad Calahuche, who has said that if necessary, measures to protect any remains will taken.

The main hypothesis is that it would have belonged to a ship that sank in the area in 1758. The ship came from Peru and was wrecked after being chased by English pirates off the coast of Ayamonte. Ceramic pieces belonging to other ships that may have sunk there have also been found in the area in recent years.


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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.

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