The Archaeology of Manila Galleons

Dublin Core


The Archaeology of Manila Galleons


Session 9
Spain and the Asia-Pacific region


Manila Galleons are the stuff of legend. Active for 250 years they were the vehicle for people, products and ideas between Asia and the Spanish World. Among the biggest ships of their time, they were built to endure one of the most difficult navigations, the crossing of the Pacific Ocean -which sometimes lasted half a year on the way to New Spain. As a topic of archaeological research, little has been done regarding these important ships. This paper deals with the known Manila Galleons found to date. Unfortunately treasure hunters have salvaged most of them and little information if any is accessible to researchers. However, archaeological projects are currently active on sites regarding such ships. The Archaeology of Manila Galleons has the potential to understand diverse aspects of the exchange and interaction that took place between Asia and the Spanish Empire, as well as to shed light on the ships themselves, which were built in the Philippines to Spanish shipwright traditions and remain a mystery in many ways.


Roberto Junco


November 2011



Roberto Junco, “The Archaeology of Manila Galleons,” The MUA Collection, accessed October 21, 2018,

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