The Wreck Of The 1564 Tierra Firme Galleon Santa Clara: An Overview

Author(s): Corey Malcom

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Plus Ultra: An examination of current research in Spanish Colonial/Iberian Underwater and Terrestrial Archaeology in the Western Hemisphere." , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

The galleon Santa Clara sailed from Spain to Colombia and Panama in 1564. On the return voyage, the ship ran aground on a remote reef in the northwestern Bahamas. After its passengers and treasure were saved by an accompanying ship, Santa Clara was abandoned, along with its equipment. Detailed archaeological research into the site has uncovered a significant portion of Santa Clara in association with a wealth of artifacts that reflect how the ship functioned and the lifestyles of those on board. Historical research shows Santa Clara was owned by the great Spanish mariner Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, revealing previously unexplored events in his life and a sharper understanding of the maritime system in which he operated. Overall, the wreck of the Santa Clara provides a good case-study of a “typical” ship and the material culture utilized in the early years of the transatlantic Carrera de Indias circuit.

Cite this Record

The Wreck Of The 1564 Tierra Firme Galleon Santa Clara: An Overview. Corey Malcom. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457268)


Temporal Keywords
sixteenth century

Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 239