Mex­ico IDs wreck of ship:

Arab Times - - SCIENCE -

Ar­chae­ol­o­gists in Mex­ico said Tues­day they have iden­ti­fied a ship that car­ried Mayan peo­ple into vir­tual slav­ery in the 1850s, the first time such a ship has been found.

The wreck of the Cuban-based pad­dle­wheel steam­boat was found in 2017, but wasn’t iden­ti­fied un­til re­searchers from the Na­tional In­sti­tute of An­thro­pol­ogy and His­tory checked con­tem­po­rary doc­u­ments and found ev­i­dence it was the ship “La Unión.”

The ship had been used to take Mayas cap­tured dur­ing an 1847-1901 re­bel­lion known as “The War of the Castes” to work in sug­ar­cane fields in Cuba.

Slav­ery was il­le­gal in Mex­ico at the time, but op­er­a­tors of sim­i­lar ships had re­port­edly bought seized cap­tured com­bat­ants, or de­ceived Mayas left land­less by the con­flict to “sign on” as con­tract work­ers, of­ten in Cuba, where they were treated like slaves.

The La Unión was on a trip to Ha­vana in Septem­ber 1861 when its boil­ers ex­ploded and it sank off the once-im­por­tant Yu­catan port of Sisal.

In­sti­tute ar­chae­ol­o­gist He­lena Barba Mei­necke said the in­hab­i­tants of Sisal had passed down through gen­er­a­tions the ac­count of the slave ship, and one of them led re­searchers to it.

“The grand­par­ents and great-grand­par­ents of the in­hab­i­tants of Sisal told them about a steam ship that took away Mayas dur­ing the War of the Castes,” Barba Mei­necke said. “And one of the peo­ple in Sisal who saw how they led the Mayas away as slaves, told his son and then he told his grand­son, and it was that per­son who led us to the gen­eral area of the ship­wreck.” (AP)


Hayley Hyams, a vol­un­teer with Sea Tur­tle Re­cov­ery, car­ries a green sea tur­tle named Mel­bourne to the ocean in Point Pleas­ant Beach, NJ on Sept 15, as part of a pro­gram to re­lease sick or in­jured tur­tles that have been re­stored to health. Mel­bourne was stranded Nov 14, 2019, in Surf City, NJ, where he was found float­ing in the wa­ter too weak to swim due to cold stun­ning and a lung in­fec­tion.

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