Shipwreck believed to be part of Vasco da Gama’s fleet

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A shipwreck discovered years ago off the coast Oman is believed to be part of the fleet of 16th century Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, according to a recent study.

The wreckage was first discovered in 1998 off the coast of Al Hallaniyah Island in the Arabian Sea, but an archaeological excavation to reveal more about the sunken ship has taken place over the last three years, an interim report published in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology says.

Researchers think that what they found is the remains of the Esmeralda, a ship from the famous explorer’s second voyage to India that is believed to have been destroyed in a storm.

“The bay where the site is located was almost a perfect geographical match for where the ships’ [the Esmeralda and the São Pedro, another ship in the fleet] wrecked,” the study says.

The artifacts found at the wreck site — including incredibly rare coins — also helped to determine the nationality and date of the wreckage.