Indiana University Bloomington

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La Isabela

Historical Background

Located on the remote north coast of Hispaniola, La Isabela was Spain's first capital of the new world from 1494-1498 prior to the establishment of Santo Domingo. During this brief occupation, La Isabela represented the first contact between distinct cultures of Europe and Native Americans. Archival documents indicate several caravels and other ships of Columbus were lost in the area due to two separate hurricanes. These vessels, and their associated artifact remains, represent a unique opportunity to research this important time period. Although many controversies surround this clashing of two worlds, everyone agrees the assimilation of cultures forever changed our global societies.