For years now, adventurers, treasure hunters and scientists have been looking for a ship dating back to the era of the discovery of the Americas. And now it seems to have been found off the Panamanian coastline, in the bay of Nombre de Dios. A wreck located at a depth of only three metres prompted the American expert for Iberian shipbuilding, Prof. Filipe Castro, to say, “this is the oldest wreck ever found off the coast of America.” The find is considered a sensation by underwater archaeologists.
Finds of cannons, wreckage and fragments support the theory put forward by Prof. Castro. A C-14 analysis performed by the University of Kiel also confirms his belief. Cannons, anchors and ceramic finds are clearly of Spanish origin and go back to the end of the 14th and early 15th centuries.
What did the ships of the discoverers of America look like? What was their construction like? Questions to which scientists have been unable to provide any answers up until now. Ideas of what the ships looked like in one of the key phases of world history remain vague at best, to this day. An international crew of scientists and divers will explore the wreck in detail.
However, who was on a major voyage of discovery at that time?
According to historic sources, 5 expeditions were at sea from 1503 to 1515, exploring the eastern coast of Central America. Among the discoverers were such illustrious names as Ojeda, Nicuesa, Valdivia, Pedrarias and Christopher Columbus. They all end up losing ships, but only one of them did so in the bay of Nombre de Dios. His name was Christopher Columbus.
The film tells the story of Columbus’s fourth voyage to the Caribbean, which ended in disaster for him and his fleet. The documentary traces the route of at least one of these ships to experience the harrowing trip. The contemporary diving expedition to the shipwreck, the scientific investigation of the ship and the story of the fourth voyage are woven together in the film.