Skip to comments.Scientists Study Possible Submerged Ancient City Off Cuban Coast
Posted on 05/09/2002 3:33:40 PM PDT by blam
Scientists study possible submerged ancient city off Cuban coast
Story Filed: Thursday, May 09, 2002 12:30 PM EST
Havana, May 09, 2002 (EFE via COMTEX) -- Large rock formations that could be part of an ancient city that sank thousands of years ago off the western tip of Cuba continue to be a mystery to Cuban and Canadian scientists.
"You can see coastal outlines, totally separated from Cuba. We could say it's an island apart from Cuba," Canadian marine engineer Paulina Zelitzky told Cuban television.
Zelitzky, of British Columbia-based Advanced Digital Communications (ADC) and a member of the Exploramar project, said the scientific community had no prior knowledge of a submerged island lying between Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba.
The discovery of the large rock formations, separated by small spaces and lying in the Cabo de San Antonio area off the western Cuban province of Pinar del Rio, was made in July 2000.
Cuban scientists made the discovery while mapping the sea floor using sonar technology.
A remote-control underwater robot equipped with cameras, lights and sonar captured images some 630 meters (2,065 feet) below the surface.
Sonar imaging captured large megalithic rounded and pyramid-shaped structures symmetrically laid out at different angles from the faults found in the area.
Insufficient evidence exists at this time to determine if the structures were originally built on land and whether they are manmade or natural.
In the event the formations are part of a submerged city, scientists believe the city created an additional barrier for ocean currents and formed a bridge between Cuba and Yucatan that perhaps Caribbean biogeography could explain.
Zelitzky said she believed that the large granite structures could be the result of a geological fault produced when a plateau plummeted 600 meters (1,967 feet) below sea level some 6,000 years ago.
Zelitzky added that samples have not yet been extracted because the robot must be stabilized and supported before drilling into the hard rock.
Zelitzky's husband, Paul Weinzweig, and her son, Ernesto Tapanes, are working with Cuban scientists on the research vessel Ulises.
The vessel has been modernized to enable the use of sonar equipment to capture images of large areas of the sea floor at a depth of more than 1,000 meters (3,300 feet).
Researchers plan to return to the exact location of the submerged formations to gather additional information to formulate new theories on this underwater phenomenon.
"We understand the great archeological and historic significance of this discovery, but we're being cautious with our initial hypothesis," Cuban researcher and project adviser Gabino La Rosa Corzo said.
"Although studying these large structures brings to mind other relatively recent discoveries in Alexandria and Pompeii - among many other finds of large submerged cities - in this case we haven't uncovered typical components to prove that the structures are manmade," La Rosa said.
By Raquel Martori.
Just funning with ya! I love Art's show. He's one of the best interviewers on radio IMO. The subjects are fun too, even if the bullsh-- detectors sometimes peg so hard it takes a crowbar to reset them.
Barriers? Starting to sound familiar?
Maybe. I'm anxiously waiting. They say that by early fall they will have something definate. (City or no city)
They will have to move fast if they find a yes answer. Funding will then be available, but most of it will be going to other researchers.
I don't think so, there's no evidence for it. But, if it was, it would have to have been hundreds of millions of years ago.
I remember that it was a pirate hangout and that it went down so fast that it took a lot of the ships in the harbor with it but I can't remember the name. Kings Port maybe?
Nope, can't remember and I was reading about it just the other day. Shoot! (I think 30,000 people were lost though)
"On June 7, 1692 judgment came to Port Royal when a massive earthquake mangled the city, plunging two thirds of it beneath the sea, killing 2000 persons and destroying most of the ships in the harbour. Most of the survivors sought refuge across the harbour, and thus began the city of Kingston.
What was left of Port Royal later became an important British Naval station, but the town never regained its former prosperity. Disaster dogged it: a fire in 1703, hurricanes in 1721, 1726 and 1744, another disastrous fire in 1815, and an earthquake in 1907. In modern times, the hurricane of 1951 left only 10 out of 260 modern buildings standing. After this, the government rebuilt the town supervised by a statutory body known as the Brotherhood of Port Royal.
Today it is little more than a fishing village with perennial (unrealized) plans to restore it as a cultural centre and tourist attraction. Port Royal remains a historical treasure chest with most of its archaeological riches still buried in the sand or beneath the sea. Because of its legendary wealth it has attracted many wrackers, looters or modern buccaneers. It has also been the site of scientific marine archaeological explorations. The first by Edward Link of the National Geographic Society recovered many artifacts. Another in 1960 by a commercial treasure salvager produced very little. In 1965 and 1968 marine archaeologist Robert Marx, commissioned by the government, excavated and mapped more than two acres of the sunken city discovering markets, taverns, three ships, dwellings, a cistern and numerous artifacts. Land excavations at the Port Royal Dockyard revealed another section of the old city including a buried church and a long-boat but due to lack of funds this dig was put on hold.
Over the years a wealth of artifacts have been recovered but strangely, considering that the site was once reputed to be the richest city in the world, no gold or precious stones have surfaced.
Thanks, not being able to remember was bugging me.
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