New evidence for Cortez’s sunken ships

Photos of ceramics, and article interpretation by Robert Kokenyesi, Ceramic Artist, Beachfront Pottery, Godfrey, IL, 62035, USA.  If you enjoyed this post, then give me a “like” on my Facebook page.      There is additional information about Beachfront Pottery on my web site.


The Published News Article

Exclusive: New clue surfaces in underwater hunt for conquistador’s lost ships

A tantalizing clue that may help solve the 500-year-old mystery around the “lost fleet” of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés has been found in the Gulf of Mexico, according to an international team of underwater archaeologists with the Lost Ships of Cortés project.


The article first reports on a newly-found anchor that was made about the time of Cortez’s stay in Mexico.  The article also explains that Cortez’s ships were sunk intentionally, so they are not loaded with treasures looted from the Aztecs, but instead, loaded with rock.  Nonetheless, the ships could be a treasure trove of information about 16th century shipbuilding, and cultural artifacts.

Beachfront Pottery Pieces

Shipwrecks to me are the very dramatic illustration of the power of the oceans.  When unleashed, that power is immensely superior to man-made structures, including ships.  The abstracted line of an arch to me represents the line of remnants of the ship.  In all my shipwreck pieces the arching line of the wreck is placed in various depictions of the underwater landscape.  The shipwreck of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha was the center of attention in the 1980’s because of the single minded effort to discover the whereabouts oft he wreck, and to recover its treasured cargo.  The ship was traveling the Spanish Galleon trail when it was sunk by a hurricane in 1733.

“N.S. de Atocha I” by Robert Kokenyesi, Godfrey, IL


This is a 30X16 inch size piece.  The ceramic tiles with the shipwreck’s beams were formed individually, and then assembled and epoxy-glued onto a canvas panel.









“N.S. de Atocha II” by Robert Kokenyesi, Godfrey, IL
“N.S. de Atocha III” by Robert Kokenyesi, Godfrey, IL

These are 16X10 inch pieces.











“N.S. de Atocha IV” by Robert Kokenyesi, Godfrey, IL


This is a 24X16 inch piece.  The plates representing the ocean are somewhat irregular.  It’s hard to see at this size, butt he individual beams have a blue base with a red overlay.









“N.S. de Atocha V” by Robert Kokenyesi, Godfrey, IL


This is a 30X16 inches piece.  The oceans a re irregular, hand-crafted pieces.  There’s a red glass ribbon on top of the beams at several positions.









Inspiration for Future Ceramic Pieces

Recently I returned to the shipwreck theme, and made a piece about yet another treasure laden ship that sunk near Long Key off Florida during the 1733 hurricane.  The wreck of the Nuestra Senora de Las Angustias is still visible today.  What remains steady is the arching assembly of ceramic beams. What is new is the glass cover over the beams, and the pigmented crackles of the glass that give a streaming quality to the piece.


“N.S. de Las Angustias I” by Robert Kokenyesi, Godfrey, IL
“N.S. de Las Angustias I” by Robert Kokenyesi, Godfrey, IL Detail












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