Slave Ships and Mutiny, The Cahuita National Park Shipwreck Survey in Costa Rica

Author(s): B. Lynn Harris; David M. VanZandt

Year: 2013


Tourism brochures advertise two shipwrecks in the Cahuita National Park in Costa Rica. The sites are restricted to snorkeling only and the use of SCUBA equipment is not permitted. Local guides, whose families have specialized in free diving for generations, are employed to offer snorkeling tours and are required to be used in the confines of the park. Little is currently known about the identity of these shipwrecks. Historical and archaeological investigations suggest several possible candidates such as the Christianus Quintus (a) Christian V andthe Fredericus Quartus (a) Frederick IV both belonging to the Danish West Indies Company that wrecked in this area in 1710.  This paper presents preliminary archaeological information about the wreck sites, examines the role of free divers in the management of cultural and biological resources, and analyses the cultural and economic niche these two shipwrecks may have played in Caribbean and Costa Rica slaving enterprises.

Cite this Record

Slave Ships and Mutiny, The Cahuita National Park Shipwreck Survey in Costa Rica. B. Lynn Harris, David M. VanZandt. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428345)

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Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 505