Sunday, May 11, 2008

13th century ship discovered in Barcelona

Ship sunk in 13th century uncovered at Spain construction site
10 May 2008
EFE News Service

Construction of an underground parking lot in a Barcelona neighborhood that was under the sea in the middle ages has uncovered a ship that sank, according to archaeologists supervising the site, in the 13th or 14th century.

The ship's remains are at some 7 meters (23 feet) below sea level, where construction workers found the upside-down wooden hull of a ship that capsized and sank off what was then the coast of the Catalonian capital. Experts say that the ship's design indicates that it came from somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean.

The director of the City History Museum, Joan Roca, who visited the site Saturday with Mayor Jordi Hereu, said the find proves that the port of Barcelona had relations not only throughout the Mediterranean but also with cities on the Atlantic.

The ship was found on land that formerly belonged to the Cercanias Renfe railroad company and where the Sacyr Vallehermoso firm has been building an apartment block since July 2006.

Due to the location of the discovery in the city's downtown area, supervision of the site is the province of the City History Museum's archaeological service and the General Heritage Board of the Generalitat, or Catalonian government.