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College of Arts & Sciences
Maritime Research Division


Ayllon Capitana

The lead ship, or Capitana, of a Spanish expedition to establish the first European settlement in North America, wrecked on its approach to Winyah Bay on August 9, 1526. The ship, believed to be the Chorruca, and its cargo of tools and supplies needed to establish a colony were lost, dooming the settlement attempt to failure. In 2005, the Maritime Research Division partnered with the Marine Sciences Division of Coastal Carolina University to survey the approaches to Winyah Bay to locate the wreck and its cargo. Working with grants from the Archaeological Research Trust, MRD staff and volunteers have surveyed more than a quarter of the estimated 40 square miles of shoals where its believed the ill-fated vessel met its demise. This is an ongoing project.

Related Information

2006. Amer, Christopher F. "A Survey for Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon's Lost Capitana." Legacy. Vol. 10, No. 3. December. South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology. University of South Carolina. Columbia, South Carolina.