Spain and Mexico renew search for 17th-century treasure galleon

Project aims to locate Nuestra Señora del Juncal and train underwater archaeologists

It is hoped the project will be a training ground for young underwater archaeologists. Photograph: INAH Rodrigo del Rio Lozano

Almost 400 years after storms sent one of Spain’s greatest treasure galleons to the bottom of the sea off Mexico, archaeologists from the two countries are to renew their search for the ship and its precious cargo of gold, silver and jewels.

Even before the tempests hit, the omens for the Nuestra Señora del Juncal’s return voyage in October 1631 were decidedly ill. A day before the fleet of which it was a part set sail from Mexico, its commander died. The ships pressed on even though the Juncal was in a poor state of repair and taking on water.

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