The Waitt Institute partnered with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA) and the Instituto Nacional de Cultura de Panama (INAC) in 2008 for this exploratory survey of the mouth of the Rio Chagres. The survey identified a number of submerged cultural resources, including a shipwreck site possibly associated with Henry Morgan’s 1671 attack on Panamá, and other shipwrecks associated with 18th and 19th century activity at the site. Cultural remains from the 1740 attack and destruction of the Castillo de San Lorenzo by British Admiral Edward Vernon, and submerged remains associated with the settlement of Chagres (ca. 1680-1915), in particular from the period of the California Gold Rush (1849-1855) were also located.

The submerged cultural resources of the mouth of the Río Chagres, as a collective group of sites and remains, form a significant maritime cultural landscape along with the site of Chagres and the Castillo de San Lorenzo. This maritime cultural landscape also includes the natural resources of the area, such as the Morro or Peñon on which the Castillo rests, the sandbars and beaches at the river’s entrance, Lajas Ref, and the river’s channel itself – all of which influenced and were impacted by the human activities that have occurred here over the last 500 years.

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For more information:

Waitt Institute for Discovery
waittinstitute.org/wid

Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA)
inadiscover.com

Instituto Nacional de Cultura de Panama (INAC)
inac.gob.pa/general.htm

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