Researchers Find 1559 Shipwreck, Part of Spanish Colonization

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - The second of several Spanish sailing vessels sunk by a 1559 hurricane has been found at the bottom of Pensacola Bay.

Don Tristan de Luna was on a mission to colonize the section of the Florida Panhandle. His first ship was found in 1992.

The new find is helping archaeologists learn about the settlement, which ended in 1561. No trace of it has ever been found on land.

Nearly 650 artifacts, mostly pieces of pottery and wood, were on display yesterday for about 100 people. They gathered at the north end of Pensacola Bay Bridge, about a half-mile from the shipwreck.

Teams of West Florida archaeology students last summer discovered what they thought was the shipwreck, picking up pieces of artifacts from the site. A 32-by-24-foot barge covers the shipwreck site to give divers access.

Researchers believe as many as six other vessels were lost in the September 19th, 1559 hurricane.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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