MIAMI, Florida -- A research team has discovered off Nagua, a city in the northeastern Dominican Republic, a Spanish galleon that apparently sank in the area between 1690 and 1700, a media report said.
The galleon, whose name is unknown, was found in October, allowing pieces of 'incalculable historical value' to be recovered, the daily Listin Diario said.
Among the objects discovered was a bell made in 1693, while on the deck is the Latin phrase 'Soli Deo Gloria' (Glory Only to God), which could be the ship's name, though that is yet to be confirmed by experts.
Also found on the galleon were navigation compasses and plumb lines for measuring depth, silver coins, a pistol, sword sheaths and other military items, as well as ornaments and several jewels, notably a ring set with eight diamonds, Listin Diario said.
Other discoveries included plates with makers' marks (castles, lions and fleurs-de-lis), silverware, buckles, bronze candlesticks, sword handles, and a device for measuring the ship's speed in knots.
The technical director of the Dominican Underwater Heritage office, Francis Soto, told the newspaper that the wreck was a 'great discovery' because of the 'variety of pieces' that were found.
The research team is headed by Penny Stock Chaser of Marine Exploration, a US company specializing in underwater archaeological exploration and which was contracted by the Underwater Heritage office to trace the galleon's origin.
The shipwreck occurred in the Atlantic Ocean near the estuary of the Boba River in the northeastern Dominican province of Maria Trinidad Sanchez 1690-1700, and the recovery of the first object, a bell, took place in 1983 when Burt Webber, director of operations for the same company, was exploring the area, the daily said.
The explorations were resumed this year, and in October and November the first objects were recovered.