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Spanish Armada Relics Wash Ashore in Ireland

Two cannons are among the centuries-old prizes
By Brownie Marie,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2015 4:23 PM CDT
Spanish Armada Relics Wash Ashore in Ireland
Mullaghmore, County Sligo, on the West Coast of Ireland.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Severe weather near County Sligo, Ireland, over the past two years has stirred up the seabed and brought centuries-old treasures to the shore. Pieces of the Spanish Armada merchant ship La Juliana have been washing ashore since April, including two cannons from the ship. Experts say the weapons, made in the 1580s, are in excellent condition. "We have uncovered a wealth of fascinating and highly significant material, which is more than 425 years old," an Irish government official tells BBC. "This material is obviously very historically and archaeologically significant."

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La Juliana was built in 1570, and was used by the Spanish to transport goods to and from Italy. In 1588, it was one of 129 other ships used in King Phillip II’s attempted English invasion, but went down near County Sligo in bad weather. Two other Spanish Armada ships, La Lavia and Santa Maria de Vision, also shipwrecked in the area, and more than 1,000 people lost their lives. The ships may be preserved under tons of sand at the bottom of the seafloor, according to ITV. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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