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A sunken pirate port a world heritage site?

That is what archaeologists in Jamaica want for the site known as Port Royal. The researchers have submitted their request to the United Nations to give the sunken monument the appropriate status. Founded in 1518, the port was an important centre of trade in the Caribbean Sea in the second half of the 17th century.
Published: August 13, 2012 - 19:26
Updated: February 9, 2023 - 10:23
A sunken pirate port a world heritage site?

That is what archaeologists in Jamaica want for the site known as Port Royal. The researchers have submitted their request to the United Nations to give the sunken monument the appropriate status. Founded in 1518, the port was an important centre of trade in the Caribbean Sea in the second half of the 17th century.

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Port Royal was also a haven for corsairs, hired by countries unable to declare open war on Spain. It was particularly beloved by sailors from the British and Dutch flags. Tempted by the colourful city, famous for its relaxed customs, they willingly left their looted gold here. One of the most famous was Henry Morgan, who went from being a king of pirates to a nobleman and governor of Jamaica!

When Jamaica was invaded and conquered by the British in 1655, the first fortifications were immediately built in Port Royal. The British were well aware of the strategic importance of this location.

The end came unexpectedly and suddenly. The vibrant city was destroyed by an earthquake. On the 7th of June 1692 the tremors that hit Jamaica simply tore off a piece of the city and sank it into the sea. As a result of this event and the epidemics caused by it, 2/5 of the then population of Port Royal died.

Below is a film shot during one of the expeditions uncovering the secrets of the former pirate port:

Source: www.jnht.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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