Huelva University researchers recreate the port where Columbus set sail

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Huelva University researchers recreate the port where Columbus set sail
CREDIT: Fundacion Descubre

A RESEARCH team at Huelva University has recreated for the first time what the port would have looked like when Columbus set sail.

The team has made a scale model of Palos de la Frontera Port as it would have been in 1492.

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Having gone back six million years to study how the terrain has changed over the years, they have also been able to predict how it will continue to do so in coming years due to its geographical characteristics, according to the Descubre (Discover) Foundation.

To carry out the paleontological study of the area, they have studied the chemical composition and the origin of sediment, fossils and vegetation.

They discovered, that flooding caused the cove to have poor conditions for sailing and would probably have required mud to be extracted from the sea bed to reach a sufficient depth for ships. Water was between three and four metres deep in 1492 and two of the ships used by Columbus, the Niña and the Pinta, would have needed a depth of at least two metres even before they were loaded.


The study entitled ‘Where did Christopher Columbus start?: The estuarine scenario of a historial date’ has been published in Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.


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Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics.Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.

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