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Anchor dating to conquest found off Mexico’s Gulf coast

April 30, 2019

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Archaeologists in Mexico announced Tuesday they have found a Spanish anchor off the Gulf coast of Veracruz that dates to around the time of the Spanish conquest.

The anchor was found at a site north of the current city of Veracruz, near where Hernán Cortés intentionally sank 10 of his ships in 1519 to prevent his troops from deserting.

Cortés landed in Veracruz 500 years ago, in April 1519. By August 1521 he had defeated the Aztec empire.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History said the anchor hasn’t been proven to be from Cortés’ ships, but the search for evidence continues.

Another Spanish expedition came to the area just after Cortés, so the anchor could have been from those ships.

The institute said Tuesday the anchor’s wooden crosspiece was still intact, which allowed it to be dated to a tree that grew between 1450 and 1530. The wood was identified as a type of oak that grows in northern Spain.

Mexico has struggled with how to mark the 500th anniversary of the conquest, which resulted in the death of a large part of the country’s pre-Hispanic population.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has demanded an apology from Spain for the conquest