A sunken vessel discovered off of the coast of Donegal is believed to be part of the Spanish Armada and is to be excavated in a major new project funded by the Department of Heritage, according to the Irish Independent.

"It's certainly from the right period," underwater archaeologist Connie Kelleher said of the vessel. "I don't know what we'll find, that's the excitement of it."

Past discoveries of the fleet have revealed nearly 10,000 pieces of treasure sunk to the bottom of the ocean. So far, divers have discovered gold and silver coins, cannons, cannon balls, anchors, forks, rubies, pearls, and jewelry of every kind.

Despite all of the past treasures discovered, Irish Cultural Minister Jimmy  Deenihan believes this ship "could constitute one of the most intact of these wrecks discovered to date."

Experts believe that the evidence they've uncovered so far reveal a vessel that is likely a 16th-century ship. It appears it was part of the 1588 Spanish Armada, the Spanish fleet that sailed again England with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I.

To excavate the sunken ship, the Geological Survey of Ireland is supplying a research vessel free of charge, called the RV Keary. The divers will also conduct geophysical surveys of the wreck that can benefit the company as well.



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If the ship was in fact part of the Armada, Deenihan has said that the find would be "of significance not only to Ireland, but also to the international archaeological, historical, and maritime communities," the Belfast Telegraph reported.

"It could provide huge insight into life on board and the reality of the military and naval resources available to the Armada campaign."