Curaçao, charted before the 16th century, owes its maritime prosperity to its favorable location. This is the island where the international trade routes of the Atlantic Ocean meet. Along the south coast, Curaçao has several superb harbors. Willemstad the capital of Curaçao was build around the harbor. 

After the late-15th-century voyages Christopher Columbus put the Caribbean on the world map, followed by the Spanish soldier and explorer Alonso de Ojeda and the Italian Amerigo Vespucci in 1499 - 1500 to chart much of the South American coast and, in turn, several offshore islands in the area. One was Curacao. Soon after de Ojeda's voyage, the Spanish came in larger numbers.

The Dutch West India Company (WIC) saw Curaçao as a potentially valuable base in the Caribbean and on July 29, 1634 the Dutch took over the island. Under the Dutch West India Company, Curaçao became a center of trade. The town was built with a harbor open to all commerce, including private traders. 

Map produced by BMA Amsterdam 2008 - 2009

MR&C was invited by the National Archaeological Anthropological Memory Management (NAAM) in 2012 to work on the project ‘Maritime Cultural Heritage Map of  Curacao'. The objective was to inventory possible schipwreck-, harbor or other maritime remains on the south coast of Curacao. The Heritage Map (both terrestrial and underwater) has been produced by the Archaeology department of the municipal Office of Monuments and Archaeology Amsterdam (Bureau Monumenten en Archeologie, BMA) in 2008 - 2009.On the current map there are about 90 possible interesting locations. These are locations are based on old maps, sportdivers and treasurehunter information.  

For this project MR&C did the fundraising, PR, logistics and set up a network of volunteers for diving. Main responsibilities were managing the project including underwater archaeological research and diving. We discovered two sites with ballaststones (possible 18th or 17th century Dutch wrecks).