An Analysis of Spanish Colonization Fleets in the Age of Exploration Based on the Historical and Archaeological Investigation of the Emanuel Point Shi

Della Aleta Scott-Ireton

          The 1559 Spanish expedition under Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano to form the first major settlement in what would become the state of Florida is one of the least-known and least-studied episodes in the history of the Americas. The landing and settlement site have not been identified and not all of the documents pertaining to the settlement attempt have been found and translated. The discovery in 1992 of a sixteenth-century shipwreck, a probable member of the Luna fleet, in Pensacola Bay provided a unique opportunity to further investigate the ships that brought the first European settlers to Florida. This thesis will focus on these ships and include the development of vessels that enabled European expansion, the formation of a typical Spanish colonization fleet, and the specific components of the Luna fleet. Archaeological and historical examination of the Emanuel Point Ship (8ES1980) will determine how it fit into the Luna fleet and what it may have carried beyond the material recovered archaeologically.