Archaeologists have discovered a shipwreck off the coast of Oman that was part of a fleet led by 16th-century Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama during his second voyage to India.
Lying in Omani waters, the wreck site was identified as possibly belonging to the ship Esmeralda. It is the oldest shipwreck from Europe's age of exploration ever to be found, Oman's Ministry of Heritage and Culture said on Tuesday.
The wreck was first discovered in 1998, on the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama's epic discovery of the direct sea route to India, after an extensive search in the Portuguese archives.
Photos: Treasures Found at Vasco da Gama Shipwreck
David Mearns, of the recovery company Bluewater Recoveries Ltd, identified the wreck site off the coast of the remote Al Hallaniyah Island, some 28 miles from mainland Oman.
"The bay where the site is located was almost a perfect geographical match for where the ship wrecked, according to the descriptions of the chroniclers," Mearns said.
The site wasn't explored until 2013 when a two-year excavation, led by Mearns in partnership with Oman's Ministry of Heritage and Culture, took place in the island's waters.