Pirates of the Caribbean - PIRATE-AGE PORT ROYAL

PIRATE-AGE PORT ROYAL (Illustration) Awesome Radio - Narrated Stories Famous Historical Events Famous People Film Geography Legends and Legendary People Social Studies World History Disasters


The "Underwater City of Port Royal" is now a World Heritage Site. In 1981, the Nautical Archaeology Program of Texas A&M University began its participation in investigating the submerged remains of what had once "the wickedest city in the world." This TAMU image compares Port Royal's shoreline before and after the June 7, 1692 earthquake. 


Today, Port Royal is the scene of amazing archeological excavation. Although much of the work is done under water, the results allow us to see the town (and its homes) that was the center of Caribbean pirate activity. It is, like Pompeii, a kind of museum that was frozen in time.

The darkly shaded areas in this drawing depict what was left of Port Royal after the town slid into the sea. Why was the damage so widespread? According to experts:

...two-thirds of Port Royal plunged/submerged beneath the sea due to the widespread failure of water saturated unconsolidated sands. Heavy brick houses were built on the sand, and during the earthquake "the ground gave way as far as the houses stood, and no further, part of the fort and the Palisades on the other end of the houses standing.

The whole neck of land being sandy (except for the fort, which was built on a rock, and stood) on which the town was built" (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1694.)

As four decades of underwater excavations continue, who knows what additional artifacts will be found from the heyday of Pirates of the Caribbean? Of one thing we can be sure: Our collective fascination with the time, place and people will continue well into the future.



Angus Konstam's book, Pirates: Terror on the High Seas, which is beautifully illustrated by Angus McBride, is an especially useful guide on the subject of Caribbean pirates.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: Sep 16, 2019

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"PIRATE-AGE PORT ROYAL" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2003. Feb 21, 2020.
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