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Underwater archeology
Museologists from 12 countries noted the high value of Cuba's underwater archeology, due to its unprecedented capacity to preserve the submerged cultural and patrimonial wealth.

Cuban expert Alessandro Lopez gave a lecture on underwater archeology at the Fourth Ibero-American Meeting of Museums and Historic Centers, which opened on Tuesday in Havana and is being attended by 167 specialists from the region.

The frigate Arrow, from which 2,000 pieces of English chinaware were recovered, and the brigantine Ines de Soto, which carried 33,000 of the first coins minted in the Americas, both from the 16th century, are examples of the wealth resting in the Caribbean's sea bottoms.

"We have 1,341 references of shipwrecks documented by historians, but just 130 have been discovered over the past 20 years, said Lopez, who has more than three decades' experiences as an archeologist.

Adverse weather conditions and constant attacks by corsairs and pirates in the Caribbean, in addition to bad sailing conditions in the 16th century, contributed to a large number of shipwrecks off Cuban coasts.

Lopez noted Cuba's non-lucrative interest in archeology, backed by prominent personalities like French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997), who worked with Cuban scientists for several years.

Salvage operations carried out in the 1970s by the Cuban company CARISUB were recorded in photos, films and videos by renowned filmmakers such as Fernando Perez (Havana Suite) and Rogelio Paris (Caravan).

Source: Prensa Latina

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