Sat. Apr 20th, 2019

Nelson's ship, among wrecks still submerged under the Canary waters - La Provincia

Nelson's ship, among wrecks still submerged under the Canary waters - La Provincia

In Canary Islands, strategic point of ocean navigation, Shipwrecks have surfaced in Gáldar, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Garachico, among other locations, but emblematic ships like the HMS Fox, of the fleet with which Nelson attacked Tenerife.

There are many wrecks still sought in the Canary Islands, explains in an interview to Efe the underwater archaeologist Carles Aguilar, who intends to speak on April 11 in the Jornadas Cervantinas de La Orotava on Know the society of the Spanish Golden Age from their shipwrecks. Contributions of archeology under the sea.

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" We have no idea of ​​everything that can be under water", says Carles Aguilar, who has been a promoter of the Department of Protection of Underwater Archaeological Heritage of the Federació Catalana d'Activitats Subaquàtiques and who underlines that in the field of underwater archeology" there is still a long way to go ".

In the case of the Canary Islands "lace is being made" with few resources and local archaeologists are doing a fantastic job, affirms Aguilar, who underlines that the investigations carried out in the Islands provide information about the presence of wrecks or submerged archaeological elements belonging to the XVI-XVII centuries.

Some examples of this period have been found in the old pier of San Telmo (The Gran Canarian palms), The Hole and the Port of Sardina (Gáldar) and in The Caletón and port of Garachico (Tenerife), where there were a lot of shipwrecks and found remains of pottery and cannon projectiles.

The wreck " he is a fundamental witness of history, is a frozen moment of the past, where we found the elements that configured the cargo, the crew's belongings and the ship's remains ", Aguilar points out, because in a ship not only did the goods travel, but they also transported" Crew beliefs, new ideas, news"

Are objects of daily life, such as amulets of sailors, remains of clothes, pipes, games of chance, dice, medallions that they carried some family portrait now erased by the waters.

In fact, one of the surveys carried out by Carles Aguilar in Catalonia found a figurine of a Protestant pastor with a mechanism that made an erect penis come out, an irreverent sample made by a sailor in the long hours of navigation.

These findings " They communicate directly with the people who traveled on the boat and that the official texts do not mention "and in what refers to his conference, Carles Aguilar mentions that there are a large number of wrecks that staged important historical chapters between the XVI and XVII centuries, as the battle of Lepanto and the Great Navy of Felipe II.

And as for the eighteenth century, it has not yet been located Holy Trinity, the largest ship of its time, which came to have 140 guns and was sunk during the battle of Trafalgar.

Also of the same century is the corsair ship sunk in front of El Burrero beach in Gran Canaria, unique island of the Archipelago that has elaborated its underwater archaeological chart, an inventory of archaeological sites and points of interest that is "fundamental" to know and protect the heritage.

Carles Aguilar, who holds a master's degree in Mediterranean Nautical and Underwater Archeology from the University of Barcelona, an underwater archaeological chart is a document "never closed" because a storm or a movement of sediment can cause new remains to be detected.

And among these there is also interest in finding ships dedicated to the slave trade, pirate ships, ships and aircraft of the Second World War and relatively recent wrecks: those from the Civil War.

To advance in this field, in addition to financing, it is necessary to have fishermen, divers and local people that they can warn archaeologists of the discovery of fragments in nets or the appearance of some remains like cannons and anchors.

This work has been basic in Catalonia, where for the moment more than 800 remains and underwater deposits have been inventoried, says Carles Aguilar, who explains that in many cases the remains are not excavated, as often happens with the Roman ships sunk in the Mediterranean, and they are left in the sediment that covers them.


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