Exploration for shipwrecks off Sunchi Reef, Goa, west coast of India
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Archival records show that a number of ships have sunk in the waters off Goa, on the west coast of India, as a result of foul weather, warfare and human error. Explorations were carried out in 1997-99 to locate shipwrecks using a boat-towed metal detector and visual surveys in 3 to 9m water depth off Sunchi Reef. A wreck was discovered and its investigation revealed guns, a shot, potsherds, glass bottle pieces, a broken rudder and dressed granite stone blocks. These finds suggest that the wreck dates from the Portuguese period (seventeenth to eighteenth century AD) and was therefore a wooden-hulled ship. The most probable cause of the wrecking was the shallow laterite shoals in the region. Although modest in scope, this project is important as one of the few underwater investigations yet to be undertaken by Indian archaeologists.
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