Archaeologists have identified the shipwreck discovered near Panama filled with weapons and tools as Nuestra Señora de Encarnación, a merchant vessel that was part of the Tierra Firme fleet that supplied Spanish colonies in the Americas.
There is good news for marine archaeologists. The shipwreck discovered in 2011 near the coast of Panama has finally been identified as belonging to a Spanish merchant ship. The wreck identified as Nuestra Señora de Encarnación, along with the tools and weapons found aboard the ship, has been well-preserved for more than 330 years.
Encarnación was a Mexican-built Spanish merchant vessel in the Tierra Firme fleet that supplied Spanish colonies in the Americas. In 1681, a storm sunk the loaded ship at the mouth of the Charges River in Panama.
Scientists have found over a hundred boxes filled with sword blades, lead seals, ceramic artefacts, scissors, nails, wooden barrels, and mule shoes preserved in the wreck. Scientists are thrilled with the find as it will help them understand the ship-building technology of the fifteenth century. According to Fritz Hanselmann, who is an archaeologist with the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, “Ships that were built hundreds of years ago didn’t come with blueprints.”