Archaeologists and other investigators worked on and photographed the site in 2003 - but did not at that stage appreciate its significance. However, after studying the historical and land-based archaeological record in greater detail, they realized the potential importance of the site They, therefore, returned in April this year to carry out further investigations - but discovered that the cannons had been looted. The photographs have therefore become key elements in the debate about the final resting place of the Santa Maria.

Search for the Santa Maria: As controversy rages, Unesco launches biggest-ever mission to find Christopher Columbus flagship

After hopes were raised that the vessel may have been found, the UN organisation now believes that the wreck lies elsewhere

A Roman coin from the Seaton Down Hoard, the largest discovery of coins ever to be found in the UK

The Seaton Down Hoard: Amateur metal detector uncovers 22,000 Roman coins

Discovery is one of the largest finds of all time

The results of the investigation show that Richard’s skeleton sustained 11 wounds at or near the time of his death: nine of them to the skull, suggesting he had removed or lost his helmet in battle

Richard III: Two years after his body was found scientists discover how he died

Bludgeoned to death in a fight, it looks like

The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.

Avatar film inspires name of newly discovered flying reptile

Scientists have jokingly urged that blue, avatar-like creatures have never existed, and the reptiles were never ridden

The sarcophagus lid is believed to have been brought to the UK by the late Captain ‘Tiger’

Egyptian embassy tries to prevent auction of 2,300-year-old coffin lid in Cambridgeshire

An ancient Egyptian coffin lid being sold at auction in Cambridgeshire today should be withdrawn from sale and repatriated to Egypt, embassy officials in London have said.

The bridge over the River Omka, in the city of Omsk, Siberia, Russia, near where armour that could be up to 3,900 years old was found.

'Elite warrior' armour which could date back 3,900 years found in Siberia

Archaeologists found the armour in an area rich in ancient burial grounds

Members of the arctic expedition led by British explorer Sir John Franklin (1786 - 1847) on their attempt to discover the Northwest passage. The expedition was beleaguered by thick ice and Franklin died in June 1847 and most of the team died of starvation

Mystery of Sir John Franklin's doomed mission to find the Northwest Passage solved

One of two ships from the Franklin Expedition, lost in 1846, has been found in the Arctic

This artist's rendering hand out by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History shows a Dreadnoughtus schrani in life

Dreadnoughtus schrani: the newly discovered biggest dinosaur ever

The 85-foot dinosaur lived 77m years ago and weighed as much as 12 African elephants

Excavations at the fort have uncovered some of the best preserved Roman building in Britain

Binchester Roman Fort: Save ‘the Pompeii of the North’, campaigners urge

Worries that Roman fort site may fall into developers’ hands after Church puts it up for sale

Hambledon Hill, in Dorset, has been bought by the National Trust

National Trust acquires 2,600-year-old Iron Age fort Hambledon Hill

One of Britain’s most important archaeological sites – a vast Iron Age hill fort at Hambledon Hill, Dorset – has been acquired by the National Trust.

An artist's impression of the Laquintasaura dinosaur

Laquintasaura: New dinosaur species discovered in Venezuela

The Laquintasaura Venezuela is believed to have been the size of a small dog

The tomb was discovered in Jiangsu province

Lavish tomb buried for 2,100 years with gold and treasure discovered in China

Liu Fei, ruler of Jiangdu Kingdom, was left with every comfort for the afterlife

A 4,300-year-old hair ornament has been discovered by a group of schoolboys

Schoolboys uncover rare 4,300-year-old gold hair ornament

The group of boys, on a dig in Northumberland, happened across the object and began "dancing with joy"

It is one of several animals and birds depicted on the ancient plateau

New Nazca Lines geoglyphs uncovered by gales and sandstorms in Peru

More shapes revealed among known geoglyphs like The Dog (pictured)

Move over Emperor - this colossal penguin was taller than a man and weighed more than 18 stone

Mega penguin’s massive foot shows it was tallest and heaviest ever to walk the Earth

New fossil discovery shows world’s greatest extinct penguin ever discovered was bigger than (many) humans

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Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

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