The U.S.-funded archeologists said Monday they are confident the oaken timbers submerged under 9 feet of water off East Caicos island are the remains of the Spanish slave ship Trouvadore, which sank in the Atlantic archipelago south of the Bahamas in 1841.

The Trouvadore carried 193 African captives and was headed to Cuba where they were to be enslaved in the sugar cane fields, historical documents indicated. It went down after hitting a reef and those aboard managed to wade ashore.

Like their neighbors in the Bahamas and many Caribbean islands, most of the 30,000 modern residents of the Turks and Caicos are thought to be descended from African slaves. But the research suggests many could be descended from the Trouvadore passengers, who were spared enslavement by the shipwreck.

"The people of the Turks and Caicos have a direct line to this dramatic, historic event. It's how so many of them ended up being there," said Keith, who worked in the Turks and Caicos for 30 years.

Source (Thanks Ann!)