Mayan Slave Ship Found

Mayan slave ship found!

The identification was based on the body parts of the ship, the timbers had signs of fire and the boilers of the ship had exploded. The crash was also linked to prior accounts of the accident, which killed 60 passengers and half of the 80 crew.

The Mayan slave ship was used to take the Maya captive during the 1847-1901 uprising known as “The War of the Castes”, to work in the sugarcane fields of Cuba.

Slavery was illegal in Mexico at the time, but operators of similar ships had reportedly bought captured soldiers or tricked the Mayas left homeless by the war, to “sign” them as contract workers, usually in Cuba, where they were treated as slaves. La Unión, the Mayan slave ship, was on its way to Havana in September 1861, when its boilers exploded and sank in the prestigious Yucatan port of Sisal.

Mexican archaeologists, on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, stated that they had found a ship carrying Mayan people into slavery in the 1850s, the first time that a ship of this kind had been found. The team also found silver objects with the logo of the company operating the ship.

The Mayan slave ship was discovered approximately 2 miles from Sisal, in about 7 meters of water, by archaeologists, who were led to the spot by a local fisherman.

The crash of a Cuban-based steamboat was discovered in 2017, but it was not identified until researchers from the National Institute of Anthropology and History examined the documents at the time and found evidence that it was a ship “La Unión.”

In October 1860, a ship was seized in the neighboring Campeche district, at the time it was taking aboard 29 Mayas, including seven-year-olds. Authorities prevented the ship from sailing, but apparently that did not stop the slave trade from proceeding. The Maya were frequently transported by ships that took paid for passengers in Cuba, as well as sisal fiber.

A few wreckages of African slave ships were found in American waters and elsewhere, but no Mayan slave ship has ever been reported to have been found.

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