Columbus’ anchor found?

Researchers investigating a newly recovered ‘treasure map’ created decades ago by a NASA astronaut have discovered an ancient anchor thought to have been left behind by Christopher Columbus.

Archaeologists have confirmed that the anchor, found in the Caribbean, is of Spanish origin and can be traced back to the Columbus era, from 1492 to the early 1500s.

The anchor weighs more than 1,200lbs, and the experts suspect it broke free from a moderately sized ship after it was damaged by a storm during a voyage in the year 1500.

Astronaut Gordon Cooper, who orbited Earth 22 times aboard the Mercury-Atlas Faith 7 spacecraft in 1963, created the map after spotting hundreds of anomalies from miles above the surface.

He later gave it to treasure-hunter Darrell Miklos, who is now investigating five coordinates along a path thought to be a route for Columbus’ fleet.

In a remarkable find set to be revealed on the next episode of Discovery Channel’s ‘Cooper’s Treasure,’ researchers discovered an anchor off Turks and Caicos estimated to weigh between 1,200 and 1,500 lbs.

This, they say, would likely have been a ‘bower’ anchor from a ship weighing no more than 300 tons, fitting the description of those in the Columbus era.

And, the double bend of the anchor’s shank also dates it in this period.

The Discovery team called upon two archaeologists to confirm the find, a spokesperson told Dailymail.com, and both determined that it was a Spanish-made anchor from the late 1400s-early 1500s.

The anchor ring is broken, and its crown is bent, indicating that it was under a significant amount of stress, and was possibly damaged in a storm.

According to the Discovery team, the anchor may have come from a ship during the joint voyage of Christopher Columbus and Spanish explorer Vincente Pinzon in 1500.

Along with the anchor, the researchers also found pottery sherds and ceramic plateware thought to have come from an olive jar adorned with indigo paint, and a Majorcan pot, all indicative of the wreck’s Spanish ties.

Three grappling anchors were also found, which the researchers say were used during this era to salvage treasure form sunken ships.

The discovery lines up with a story that claimed Pinzon returned to Turks two years after his ships sank to recover the lost vessels.

The crew also found iron and bronze spikes, ranging between 3.5 and 4 inches long, which are identical to others found from 1492-early 1500s.

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