What ship was it?
Where was it from?
Where was it going?
What was it carrying?
How did it meet its end?


Find the answers in our books and articles, photographs and drawings, public and scientifc lectures, museum exhibits, television and radio programs, and now the Web. Share with us some intriguing discoveries from an early 16th-century shipwreck, known as the Molasses Reef wreck, permanently on display in the Turks and Caicos National Museum in the Turks and Caicos Islands.


Re-creation of a portion of the Molasses Reef wreck ship's main deck

The Molasses Reef ship was heavily armed with everything from heavy artillery to crossbows, swords and grenades. Superior armament was a key element in the success of the explorers. Firepower enabled them to impose their will on the peoples they met during their explorations and to defend themselves from similarly-armed privateers and freebooters they often encountered in European waters during the return voyage.

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Bombardeta Haquebut Gunwale Caulked seam Gun carriage King plank Breech chamber Sheet anchor Verso Haquebut