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Archeologists digging in the Huelva town of La Fontanilla de Palos believe they have found the exact location where Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World in 1492.

The excavations have been taking place for two months at the site and this latest development is being hailed as one of the most important and significant discoveries relating to the history of the day.

Enrique Martínez Ituño, originally from Argentina, spoke of finding the historic port in 1908, although it wasn´t until 1992 that progress was actually made. Now, the archeological team, led by Juan Manuel Campos, believes that the long hidden piece of historic jigsaw has finally been revealed.

The area under investigation at La Fontanilla de Palos is thought to compose of four different key areas, including the shipyard, of which there is no archaeological trace, and the fountain itself, along with other elements being uncovered.

Those latter two elements included a pottery and a public area, which collectively reveal the exact location of the port where Columbus set sail. Described as a “natural harbour”, the physical characteristics of the port area contradicts what many believe should have been the chosen location for a ship such as the Santa Maria, but the deep waters and protection from both wind and currents makes it ideal, according to the experts.

The archaeologists have already found seven pottery furnaces, a “unique” discovery in Spain, as well as ceramics, bricks, tiles and other artefacts.

Within the “Alota”, they have discovered storage rooms and a tavern, essential to the working of any harbour, where sailors could prepare for their long journey ahead.

With thousands of pieces of data being collated, the importance of protecting the discovery is paramount, as this is a site that led to the discovery of the modern world, and was the “nerve centre” of one of the most important feats of the day, the discovery of America.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45138/

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