Monte Cristi Pipe Wreck

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Mone Cristi coastline

Monte Cristi Pipe Wreck is a submerged archaeological site located on the north coast of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic near the border of Haiti, part of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean. The site is one of the hundreds of historic shipwrecks that lie on the ocean floor between Monte Cristi and Puerto Plata.[1]

Archaeological evidence indicates that the shipwreck is one of a merchant trader probably sinking in the second half of the 17th century. Hispanola, together with Jamaica, was originally settled by adventurous men seeking the life of a buccaneer and these islands thrived through piracy rather than through growing sugar until the 18th century.[2] The historical and geological information together indicates that the ship was likely to have been a buccaneer vessel headed to the Americas most likely for the Upper Hudson River Valley.[3][4]


This wreck, known as the “Pipe Wreck” because of the large number of clay smoking pipes it carried as cargo, the type of long pipe the indigenous inhabitants used to smoked tobacco that was a shaped cane and called tobago.[5] It lies at a depth of 4.4 m at the northern side of Monte Cristi Bay in a bed of sea grass. Five large masses are visible, covered by a layer of calcium carbonate. Three of the objects seem to be combinations of iron and copper-alloy and two appear to be solid slabs of iron. The calcium carbonate furnish ample material for the reef ecosystem that covers the existing hull.[3]


The findings included a large number of clay tobacco smoking pipes, as well as ceramics, trade goods, and luxury imports. Most of the ceramic found were mottled-brown salt-glazed fragments known Rhenish stoneware from Germany and popular during the 16th and 17th centuries.[6][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Maritime Archaeology & Cultural Resource Management Project Monte Cristi - 2000 - Dominican Republic". Archived from the original on 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  2. ^ Rogozinski, Jan (1999). A Brief History of the Caribbean (Revised ed.). New York: Facts on File, Inc. pp. p. 85. ISBN 0-8160-3811-2. 
  3. ^ a b c "Monte Cristi Shipwreck Project - The 2001 Excavation". Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  4. ^ "The Monte Cristi Shipwreck Project". Archived from the original on 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  5. ^ "History of Monte Cristi de Tabacos". Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  6. ^ "The Rhenish Stoneware from the Monte Cristi Shipwreck, Dominican Republic". Retrieved 2007-08-02. 

External links[edit]