Pirates Smoking Pipes Let Us Know Who This Resting Place Really Belongs To

The investigators think that it is a corvette that came from Funchal, where it was associated with another English corsair for the purpose of “looting and attacks” in the Canary Islands

Some smoking pipes possibly used by their sailors reveal that the wreck found in 1968 on the coast of Ingenio (Gran Canaria) most likely belongs to an English corsair ship that was wrecked in the s. XVIII in that area, after suffering cannon fire in Gando Bay.

The Minister of Culture of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Carlos Ruiz, and the mayor of Ingenio, Juan Díaz, presented on Wednesday the result of the archaeological tastings that have been made during January and February in that wreck, known for half a century, but of which hardly they had data on its origin and chronology.

In these two months, have recovered from the wreck, located just 80 meters from the beach of El Burrero, flint stones used as ballast to the use of English shipyards, fragments of ceramics made by workshops in the English town of Devon in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, some covered with baroque decoration and smoking pipes ceramics.

The latter retain the manufacturer’s mark, which has allowed to further limit the period to which the ship belongs, of which it was known that it was heavily armed, as in the years following its discovery by a local diver, Tomás Cruz German, 15 cannons recovered from their remains.

All these clues – the construction style, the armament and the equipment of the sailors that have just emerged now – lead the specialists to think that it is a corsair corvette that was repelled on the coast of Gran Canaria when it was trying to plunder it together with another ship, in an episode chronicled by the historian José Viera y Clavijo (1731-1813).

The archaeologist specialized in underwater deposits Josué Matamora has specified that they are still in “a very preliminary moment of the investigation”, although he added that everything indicates that “it is a ship built with a specifically English system, probably of military function, which ran aground in the middle of the XVIII “.

“We suspect that it is a Corsair corsair that had an encounter in the bay of Gando, where it was cannonaded and mortally wounded, it reached this beach and did not pass from there”, added the researcher.

Matamora has specified that it is known that in the 60s cannons were removed from this wreck without any professional or historical criteria: “From here, 15 cast iron cannons were removed with a bit crude means, dragged by tractors from the coast.”

“Although it was not done with archaeological methods, that already makes us think that it was a ship of military origin, because it has a lot of artillery, but hardly remains of cargo,” the archaeologist said.

Adding all these clues to the story made by Viera and Clavijo, the researchers believe that it is a corvette that came from Funchal (Madeira), where it was associated with another English corsair for the purpose of “looting and attacks” in the Canary Islands.

According to the researcher, everything indicates that “he did not even make a prey”, hence no cargo was recovered from the wreck, because “he came to get it”.

“We have made a really small intervention on a surface that is very large,” Matamora said, adding that in the 1990s an embankment was being built to try to fill the area of ​​the jetty and, possibly, “hid part of what There may be “of the wreck.

In this line, he has acknowledged that they have only been able to take from the sea “a minimum portion”, basically “objects of the crew”.

“We hope to find in the future more materials that will make us clearer the provenance, chronology and even in name” of the boat, which is very shallow (three to four meters), he added.

Matamora has stressed that this is “one of the few boats, if not the only one in Gran Canaria, which is sunken in situ and has been partially preserved”, and added that “the conservation of the ship allows its covering by sand, so that the marine organisms do not devour the hull. ”

“We do not know how much longer it will last because the cobertas, in general, are light boats, about 30 meters long and about 15 meters long, and preserved, for now, only seven linear meters,” he said.

Smoking pipe extracted from the sunken vessel in Ingenio

This wreck in Gran Canaria waters was discovered in 1968 by a local diver, school teacher Tomás Cruz Alemán, who gave the first news about some canyons and, in 1969, Manuel Sánchez Araña extracted 15 canyons from the area.

In 1990 the University of La Laguna did some studies, but the disputes with the work that built the embankment left them just days to document and, already in 2008, a small archaeological intervention was made that left a very wide margin of chronology and origin ship’s.


Source: El Diario