The underwater pirate city of Port Royal is a very important archaeological site, and a unique spot in the Western Hemisphere — the only sunken city in that area. First occupied by the Taino Indians in the precolonial times, Port Royal was conquered by Spain when they invaded Jamaica in the 17th century. It quickly became one of the most important trade centers in the Caribbean. Tragically though, a massive earthquake that same century killed most of the inhabitants, and destroyed much of the city. Today, all of the city is underwater, and divers continue to explore its hidden treasures.

Key Takeaways:

  • Port Royal was an important trade center for Spain in the 17th century.
  • Port Royal was destroyed by an earthquake — killing many inhabitants, and turning the city into an archaeological site.
  • Today, divers continue to explore the city, which remains entirely underwater.

“Today, Port Royal is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Caribbean and the only sunken city in the Western Hemisphere.”

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