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Shipwrecks from the 16th century have been found in the Netherlands.

In the coastal waters near Hoorn, researchers have located a large number of wrecks which are believed to be the remains of ships from the Spanish fleet sunk in 1573. The unusual discovery will be investigated in more detail in the near future. At the bottom of Lake Markermeer, near Hoorn, a large number of
Published: December 21, 2020 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 21:45
Shipwrecks from the 16th century have been found in the Netherlands.

In the coastal waters near Hoorn, researchers have located a large number of wrecks which are believed to be the remains of ships from the Spanish fleet sunk in 1573. The unusual discovery will be investigated in more detail in the near future.

At the bottom of Lake Markermeer, near Hoorn, a large number of shipwrecks have been discovered that probably represent the remains of a Spanish fleet from 1573.

The victory in this battle was one of the key moments in the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648), in which the Netherlands fought for liberation from Spanish rule. With the end of the conflict, the Netherlands left the Holy Roman Empire.

But where did Spanish wrecks from the 16th century come from at the bottom of Lake Markermeer? Well, it’s very simple. In 1976, the Afsluitdijk dam was completed, turning the Zuiderzee Bay into Lake IJsselmeer. The body of water further down the coast then became Lake Markermeer.

During the work carried out on the lake using side scan sonar, a huge number of objects were found in a 73 km² area, which are clearly wrecks of wooden vessels. Interestingly, it should be relatively easy to carry out exploratory work underwater, as the average depth of the body of water is only 3-4m.

It is also worth noting that not everything may be visible on sonar images. The lake has a sandy and soft bottom, due to which many wrecks or their elements may be buried in the ground. However, this also has a good side, as in this way certainly the elements buried under the layer of sediments could survive in relatively good condition.

According to information published by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, in the summer of 2021 underwater archaeologists will determine whether the discovered wrecks are indeed the remains of a 16th-century Spanish armada.

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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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