Monte Cristi Pipe Wreck

Monte Cristi Pipe Wreck is a submerged archaeological site located off the north coast of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic near the border of Haiti, part of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean. The site is one of the hundreds of historic shipwrecks that lie on the ocean floor between Monte Cristi and Puerto Plata.[1]

Monte Cristi coastline
Monte Cristi Pipe Wreck is located in the Dominican Republic
Monte Cristi Pipe Wreck
Location of Monte Cristi Bay in the Dominican Republic

Archaeological evidence indicates that the shipwreck is one of a merchant trader, probably sinking in the second half of the 17th century. Hispanola, together with Jamaica, was originally settled by adventurous men seeking the life of a buccaneer, and until the 18th century, these islands thrived through piracy rather than through growing sugar.[2] The historical and geological information together indicates that the ship was likely to have been a buccaneer vessel headed to the Americas most likely for the Upper Hudson River Valley.[3][4]

This wreck is known as the "Pipe Wreck" because of the large number of clay smoking pipes it carried as cargo, the type of long pipe the indigenous inhabitants used to smoke tobacco that was a shaped cane and called tobago.[5]


The wreck lies at a depth of 4.4 metres (14 ft), in a bed of sea grass 80 metres (260 ft) off the northeastern bulge of Isla Cabra[6] at the northern side of Monte Cristi Bay.

Five large masses are visible, covered by a layer of calcium carbonate. Three of the objects seem to be combinations of iron and copper-alloy, and two appear to be solid slabs of iron. The calcium carbonate furnishes ample material for the reef ecosystem that covers the existing hull.[3][7]

Coordinates: 19°53′18″N 71°39′55″W / 19.88833°N 71.66528°W / 19.88833; -71.66528


The finding included a large number of clay tobacco smoking pipes, as well as ceramics, trade goods, and luxury imports. Most of the ceramic found were mottled-brown salt-glazed fragments known as Rhenish stoneware from Germany and popular during the 16th and 17th centuries.[3][8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Maritime Archaeology & Cultural Resource Management Project Monte Cristi - 2000 - Dominican Republic". Archived from the original on 2007-10-21. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  2. ^ Rogozinski, Jan (1999). A Brief History of the Caribbean (Revised ed.). New York: Facts on File, Inc. pp. 85. ISBN 0-8160-3811-2.
  3. ^ a b c "Monte Cristi Shipwreck Project - The 2001 Excavation". Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  4. ^ "The Monte Cristi Shipwreck Project". Archived from the original on 2007-02-27. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  5. ^ "History of Monte Cristi de Tabacos". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  6. ^ "Isla Cabra". Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  7. ^ Hall, J. L. "Monte Cristi Bay merchant shipwreck" (PDF). Texas A&M University. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  8. ^ "The Rhenish Stoneware from the Monte Cristi Shipwreck, Dominican Republic". Retrieved 2007-08-02.

External linksEdit