Archeologists said Monday that porcelain plates and other artifacts found along the Baja California coast could be from the wreckage of a Spanish galleon that sailed between the Philippines and Mexico hundreds of years ago.
Seals and other markings on some of the estimated 1,000 fragments of porcelain plates found at the site indicate they were made in China in the late 1500s, said archaeologist Luz Maria Mejia of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.
The site, near the port of Ensenada about 50 miles south of the U.S. border, is covered by shifting sand dunes that have kept artifacts like these hidden for centuries.
Archeologists have been scouring the dunes for years to try to find relics from old Pacific trading ships.
While early Spanish galleons — which began sailing the Pacific trade route in the 1560s — usually headed for the port of Acapulco far to the south, it was common for some ships to land further north due to the winds. They would then hug the coast as they traveled south to Acapulco.
Researchers believe the artifacts may have reached shore following a shipwreck, although no sunken ships have been found off the coast.