Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea. Spanning 10,990 square kilometres in area, it is the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles and the fourth-largest island country in the Caribbean. Jamaica lies about 145 kilometres south of Cuba, 191 kilometres west of Hispaniola. Inhabited by the indigenous Arawak and Taíno peoples, the island came under Spanish rule following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1494. Many of the indigenous people died of disease, the Spanish transplanted African slaves to Jamaica as labourers; the island remained a possession of Spain until 1655, when England conquered it and renamed it Jamaica. Under British colonial rule Jamaica became a leading sugar exporter, with its plantation economy dependent on African slaves; the British emancipated all slaves in 1838, many freedmen chose to have subsistence farms rather than to work on plantations. Beginning in the 1840s, the British utilized Chinese and Indian indentured labour to work on plantations.
The island achieved independence from the United Kingdom on 6 August 1962. With 2.9 million people, Jamaica is the third-most populous Anglophone country in the Americas, the fourth-most populous country in the Caribbean. Kingston is the country's capital and largest city, with a population of 937,700. Jamaicans have African ancestry, with significant European, Indian and mixed-race minorities. Due to a high rate of emigration for work since the 1960s, Jamaica has a large diaspora in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States. Jamaica is an upper-middle income country with an average of 4.3 million tourists a year. Jamaica is a Commonwealth realm, with Elizabeth II as its queen, her appointed representative in the country is the Governor-General of Jamaica, an office held by Sir Patrick Allen since 2009. Andrew Holness has served as Prime Minister of Jamaica since March 2016. Jamaica is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with legislative power vested in the bicameral Parliament of Jamaica, consisting of an appointed Senate and a directly elected House of Representatives.
The indigenous people, the Taíno, called the island Xaymaca in Arawakan, meaning the "Land of Wood and Water" or the "Land of Springs". Colloquially Jamaicans refer to their home island as the "Rock." Slang names such as "Jamrock", "Jamdown", or "Ja", have derived from this. The Arawak and Taíno indigenous people, originating in South America, first settled on the island between 4000 and 1000 BC; when Christopher Columbus arrived in 1494, there were more than 200 villages ruled by caciques. The south coast of Jamaica was the most populated around the area now known as Old Harbour; the Taino still inhabited Jamaica when the English took control of the island in 1655. The Jamaican National Heritage Trust is attempting to locate and document any evidence of the Taino/yamaye. Today, few Jamaican natives remain. Most notably among some Maroon communities as well as within some communities in Cornwall County, Jamaica Christopher Columbus claimed Jamaica for Spain after landing there in 1494, his probable landing point was Dry Harbour, called Discovery Bay, St. Ann's Bay was named "Saint Gloria" by Columbus, as the first sighting of the land.
One and a half kilometres west of St. Ann's Bay is the site of the first Spanish settlement on the island, established in 1509 and abandoned around 1524 because it was deemed unhealthy; the capital was moved to Spanish Town called St. Jago de la Vega, around 1534. Spanish Town has the oldest cathedral of the British colonies in the Caribbean; the Spanish were forcibly evicted by the English at Ocho Rios in St. Ann. In the 1655 Invasion of Jamaica, the English, led by Sir William Penn and General Robert Venables, took over the last Spanish fort on the island; the name of Montego Bay, the capital of the parish of St. James, was derived from the Spanish name manteca bahía, alluding to the lard-making industry based on processing the numerous boars in the area. In 1660, the population of Jamaica was about 4,500 1,500 black. By the early 1670s, as the English developed sugar cane plantations and "imported" more slaves, black people formed a majority of the population; the colony was shaken and destroyed by the 1692 Jamaica earthquake.
The Irish in Jamaica formed a large part of the island's early population, making up two-thirds of the white population on the island in the late 17th century, twice that of the English population. They were brought in as indentured labourers and soldiers after the conquest of Jamaica by Cromwell's forces in 1655; the majority of Irish were transported by force as political prisoners of war from Ireland as a result of the ongoing Wars of the Three Kingdoms at the time. Migration of large numbers of Irish to the island continued into the 18th century. Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492 and forcibly converted to Christianity in Portugal, during a period of persecution by the Inquisition; some Spanish and Portuguese Jewish refugees went to the Netherlands and England, from there to Jamaica. Others were part of the Iberian colonisation of the New World, after overtly converting to Catholicism, as only Catholics were allowed in the Spanish colonies. By 1660, Jamaica had become a refuge for Jews in the New World attracting those, expelled from Spain and Portugal.
An early group of Jews arrived in 1510, soon after the son of Christopher Columbus settled on the island. Working as merchants and traders, the
Giovanni Battista Agostino Codazzi was an Italo-Venezuelan soldier, geographer and governor of Barinas. He made his main investigations and cartographic work in Venezuela and Colombia, thereby creating for both countries a complete set of maps and statistics after the tumultuous post-independence years from the Spanish Empire. Famous geographer and cartographer born in Lugo, arrived in South America in the 1810s and fought under the corsair Aury, claiming the independence of Florida. Attracted to the ideals of southamerican freedom, after obtaining the friendship of Bolivar and other generals, enrolled in the "Libertador" Army, where -thanks to his military expertice obtained in Italian academies- behaved as excellent artillery official. After the independence wars, he left the military service and dedicated to what he liked most, the geographical & cartographical investigation, doing his most renowned masterpiece: "The Geography and Atlas of the Venezuelan Provinces". Codazzi was born in the Italian city of Lugo.
Since young he appreciated the ideals of the French Revolution and, after his studies at the military academy "Scuola di Artiglieria" of Pavia served in the Napoleon Army. With the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 Codazzi moved away from Italy and after some travels went to Venezuela, where he offered his military knowledge to Simon Bolivar. Successively he received the task of mapping the area of the Maracaibo Lake and the borders between Venezuela and Ecuador; the Venezuelan government named him Colonel and ordered the creation of an Atlas of Venezuela, a task that gave him international fame. Agustin Codazzi meanwhile took the Venezuelan citizenship from president José Antonio Páez and became Governor of Barinas, a region of southwestern Venezuela. In those years his academic activity of geographer was continuously interrupted by his duties as a military commander, suffocating many revolts. Codazzi promoted the creation in the 1840s of the Colonia Tovar, a small German settlement in the Venezuelan central mountains that still exists today and has become one of the main tourist attractions near Maracay.
With the fall of Páez, after a military insurrection, Codazzi was forced to escape to Cúcuta, where he continued his geographic and mapping activity with military duties for the Colombian government. In 1852 Codazzi did a scientific and cartographic inspection of Panama for the British government: in 1854 - if with no official mention of Codazzi's work — the Panama Canal project was done following his indications and route. Codazzi died of malaria in February 1859 at the small town of Espíritu Santo in the Colombian mountains, in the arms of his friend Manuel María Paz, while he was mapping the area for the Comisión Corográfica; the town where he died has been renamed "Aldea Codazzi", now is a city with a population of nearly 70,000 inhabitants. Venezuela honored the memory of Agustin Codazzi placing his remains inside the National Pantheon of Venezuela in 1942, where he is considered one the Heroes of Venezuela. Colombia's national geographical and cartographical institute, a government agency, is named after Agustin Codazzi.
This is a list of main works of Agostino Codazzi: Italo-venezuelans Italian language in Venezuela Colonia Tovar Biography of Codazzi: Agustin Codazzi, Vida y Empresas, by Giorgio Antei Photo of Agostino Codazzi
The Spanish Empire known as the Hispanic Monarchy and as the Catholic Monarchy, was one of the largest empires in history. From the late 15th century to the early 19th, Spain controlled a huge overseas territory in the New World and the Asian archipelago of the Philippines, what they called "The Indies", it included territories in Europe and Oceania. The Spanish Empire has been described as the first global empire in history, a description given to the Portuguese Empire, it was the world's most powerful empire during the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries, reaching its maximum extension in the 18th century. The Spanish Empire was the first empire to be called "the empire on which the sun never sets". Castile became the dominant kingdom in Iberia because of its jurisdiction over the overseas empire in the Americas and the Philippines; the structure of empire was established under the Spanish Hapsburgs and under the Spanish Bourbon monarchs, the empire was brought under greater crown control and increased its revenues from the Indies.
The crown's authority in The Indies was enlarged by the papal grant of powers of patronage, giving it power in the religious sphere. An important element in the formation of Spain's empire was the dynastic union between Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, known as the Catholic Monarchs, which initiated political and social cohesion but not political unification. Iberian kingdoms retained their political identities, with particular administration and juridical configurations. Although the power of the Spanish sovereign as monarch varied from one territory to another, the monarch acted as such in a unitary manner over all the ruler's territories through a system of councils: the unity did not mean uniformity. In 1580, when Philip II of Spain succeeded to the throne of Portugal, he established the Council of Portugal, which oversaw Portugal and its empire and "preserv its own laws and monetary system, united only in sharing a common sovereign." The Iberian Union remained in place until in 1640, when Portugal overthrew Hapsburg rule and reestablished independence under the House of Braganza.
Under Philip II, rather than the Hapsburg empire, was identified as the most powerful nation in the world eclipsing France and England. Furthermore, despite attacks from other European states, Spain retained its position of dominance with apparent ease; the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis confirmed the inheritance of Philip II in Italy. Spain's claims to Naples and Sicily in southern Italy dated back to the Aragonese presence in the 15th century. Following the peace reached in 1559, there would be no Neapolitan revolts against Spanish rule until 1647; the Duchy of Milan formally remained part of the Holy Roman Empire but the title of Duke of Milan was given to the King of Spain. The death of the Ottoman emperor Suleiman the Magnificent in 1566 and the naval victory over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 gave Spain a claim to be the greatest power not just in Europe but in the world; the Spanish Empire in the Americas was formed after conquering large stretches of land, beginning with Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean Islands.
In the early 16th century, it conquered and incorporated the Aztec and Inca Empires, retaining indigenous elites loyal to the Spanish crown and converts to Christianity as intermediaries between their communities and royal government. After a short period of delegation of authority by the crown in the Americas, the crown asserted control over those territories and established the Council of the Indies to oversee rule there; some scholars consider the initial period of the Spanish conquest as marking the most egregious case of genocide in the history of mankind. The death toll may have reached some 70 million indigenous people in this period. However, other scholars believe the vast majority of indigenous deaths were due to the low immunological capacity of native populations to resist exogenous diseases. Many native tribes and their cultures were wiped out by the Spanish conquest and disease epidemics; the structure of governance of its overseas empire was reformed in the late 18th century by the Bourbon monarchs.
Although the crown attempted to keep its empire a closed economic system under Hapsburg rule, Spain was unable to supply the Indies with sufficient consumer goods to meet demand, so that foreign merchants from Genoa, England and The Netherlands dominated the trade, with silver from the mines of Peru and Mexico flowing to other parts of Europe. The merchant guild of Seville served as middlemen in the trade; the crown's trade monopoly was broken early in the seventeenth century, with the crown colluding with the merchant guild for fiscal reasons in circumventing the closed system. Spain was unable to defend the territories it claimed in the Americas, with the Dutch, the English, the French taking Caribbean islands, using them to engage in contraband trade with the Spanish populace in the Indies. In the seventeenth century, the diversion of silver revenue to pay for European consumer goods and the rising costs of defense of its empire meant that "tangible benefits of America to Spain were dwindling...at a moment when the costs of empire were climbing sharply."The Bourbon monarchy attempted to expand the possibilities for trade within the empire, by allowing commerce between all ports in the empire, took other measures to revive economic activity to the benefit of Spain.
The Bourbons had inherited "an empire invaded by
In the United States, an unorganized territory is a region of land without a "normally" constituted system of government. This does not mean that it is unclaimed territory. In practice, such territories are always sparsely populated; the term "unorganized territory" was applied to an area in which there was no effective government control of affairs on a day-to-day basis, such as the former U. S. territories where the government exerted only transient control when its forces were present. In modern usage it indicates an area in which local government does not exist, or exists only in embryonic form; however the area is still, at least in theory, governed by the nation of which it forms part, or by a smaller unit of that nation. These governed regions were common in the 19th century during the growth of United States. Large tracts such as the Louisiana Territory, Missouri Territory and the Oregon Country were established by Congress. A portion of a territory would organize and achieve the requirements for statehood, leaving the remainder "unorganized".
Unorganized territories, as defined by the U. S. Census Bureau, occur in 10 minor civil division states where portions of counties are not included in any established MCD or independent incorporated place; the U. S. Census Bureau recognizes such separate pieces of territory as one or more separate county subdivisions for statistical purposes, it assigns each unorganized territory a descriptive name, followed by the designation "unorganized territory". Unorganized territories were first used for statistical purposes in conjunction with the 1960 census. At the 2000 census there were 305 of these territories within the United States, their total land area was 85,392 square miles and they had a total population of 247,331. South Dakota had the most unorganized territories, 102, as well as the largest amount of land under that status: 39,785 square miles, or 52.4% of the state's land area. North Dakota followed with 20,358 square miles, or 29.5 % of its land area. Maine was next with 14,052 square miles, or 45.5 % of its land area.
Minnesota had 10,552 square miles, or 13 % of its land area. Several other states had small amounts of unorganized territory; the unorganized territory with the largest population was Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, a United States Marine Corps base with a census population of 34,452 inhabitants. In the 2010 census, unorganized territory areas were identified in nine U. S. states: Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota. An unorganized territory can be a United States territory for which the United States Congress has not enacted an organic act. In this sense, unorganized territories are territories over which the federal U. S. government is sovereign but which are not located within any of the states of the Union and have not been "organized" into self-governing units. All federal unorganized territories are insular areas, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U. S. Department of the Interior. American Samoa is technically unorganized, in that Congress has not passed an organic act, but it is self-governing, under the terms of a constitution last revised in 1967.
As of 2019, Palmyra Atoll is the only unorganized incorporated U. S. territory. The other unorganized and all organized territories are unincorporated. Incorporated territories are permanently part of the United States whereas unincorporated territories may be sold, leased or granted independence by the United States. At various times during the 19th century, large parts of the Great Plains were unorganized territory. After the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803, the entire region was part of the Louisiana Territory until 1812 and the Missouri Territory until 1821. In 1821 the Missouri Compromise created the State of Missouri from the territory, the rest of the region was left unorganized; the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 created the Kansas and Nebraska Territories, bringing organized government to the region once again. The creation of Kansas and Nebraska left the Indian Territory as the only unorganized territory in the Great Plains. In 1858, the western part of the Minnesota Territory became unorganized when it was not included in the new state of Minnesota.
On May 2, 1890, the western half of the Indian Territory was organized as Oklahoma. The remainder was incorporated into the State of Oklahoma upon its admission to the union in 1907. Alaska was an unorganized territory between its acquisition by the United States in 1867 and the creation of the Alaska Territory in 1912. While still organized as a state, however half of Alaska remains unorganized at the county level. In modern parlance, such territory would be considered incorporated territory, yet not organized territory. However, the distinction between incorporated and non-incorporated territories did not arise until the territorial acquisitions following the Spanish–American War in 1898. Unorganized territories exist in certain regions of Canada, such as Northern Ontario where there is no region-wide level of government. In Quebec, territory not within the border of a municipality of some sort is unorganized territory. Organized incorporated territories of the United States – which became U.
S. states Territories of the United States – the classifications and lists of foreign possessions Types of municipalities in Quebec Unparished ar
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses and to serve as a navigational aid for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways. Lighthouses mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs and safe entries to harbors. Once used, the number of operational lighthouses has declined due to the expense of maintenance and use of electronic navigational systems. Before the development of defined ports, mariners were guided by fires built on hilltops. Since raising the fire would improve the visibility, placing the fire on a platform became a practice that led to the development of the lighthouse. In antiquity, the lighthouse functioned more as an entrance marker to ports than as a warning signal for reefs and promontories, unlike many modern lighthouses; the most famous lighthouse structure from antiquity was the Pharos of Alexandria, which collapsed following a series of earthquakes between 956 and 1323. The intact Tower of Hercules at A Coruña, Spain gives insight into ancient lighthouse construction.
Coins from Alexandria and Laodicea in Syria exist. The modern era of lighthouses began at the turn of the 18th century, as lighthouse construction boomed in lockstep with burgeoning levels of transatlantic commerce. Advances in structural engineering and new and efficient lighting equipment allowed for the creation of larger and more powerful lighthouses, including ones exposed to the sea; the function of lighthouses shifted toward the provision of a visible warning against shipping hazards, such as rocks or reefs. The Eddystone Rocks were a major shipwreck hazard for mariners sailing through the English Channel; the first lighthouse built there was an octagonal wooden structure, anchored by 12 iron stanchions secured in the rock, was built by Henry Winstanley from 1696 to 1698. His lighthouse was the first tower in the world to have been exposed to the open sea; the civil engineer, John Smeaton, rebuilt the lighthouse from 1756–59. He modelled the shape of his lighthouse on that of an oak tree.
He rediscovered and used "hydraulic lime," a form of concrete that will set under water used by the Romans, developed a technique of securing the granite blocks together using dovetail joints and marble dowels. The dovetailing feature served to improve the structural stability, although Smeaton had to taper the thickness of the tower towards the top, for which he curved the tower inwards on a gentle gradient; this profile had the added advantage of allowing some of the energy of the waves to dissipate on impact with the walls. His lighthouse influenced all subsequent engineers. One such influence was Robert Stevenson, himself a seminal figure in the development of lighthouse design and construction, his greatest achievement was the construction of the Bell Rock Lighthouse in 1810, one of the most impressive feats of engineering of the age. This structure was based upon Smeaton's design, but with several improved features, such as the incorporation of rotating lights, alternating between red and white.
Stevenson worked for the Northern Lighthouse Board for nearly fifty years during which time he designed and oversaw the construction and improvement of numerous lighthouses. He innovated in the choice of light sources, reflector design, the use of Fresnel lenses, in rotation and shuttering systems providing lighthouses with individual signatures allowing them to be identified by seafarers, he invented the movable jib and the balance crane as a necessary part for lighthouse construction. Alexander Mitchell designed the first screw-pile lighthouse – his lighthouse was built on piles that were screwed into the sandy or muddy seabed. Construction of his design began in 1838 at the mouth of the Thames and was known as the Maplin Sands lighthouse, first lit in 1841. Although its construction began the Wyre Light in Fleetwood, was the first to be lit; the source of illumination had been wood pyres or burning coal. The Argand lamp, invented in 1782 by the Swiss scientist, Aimé Argand, revolutionized lighthouse illumination with its steady smokeless flame.
Early models used ground glass, sometimes tinted around the wick. Models used a mantle of thorium dioxide suspended over the flame, creating a bright, steady light; the Argand lamp used whale oil, olive oil or other vegetable oil as fuel, supplied by a gravity feed from a reservoir mounted above the burner. The lamp was first produced by Matthew Boulton, in partnership with Argand, in 1784 and became the standard for lighthouses for over a century. South Foreland Lighthouse was the first tower to use an electric light in 1875; the lighthouse's carbon arc lamps were powered by a steam-driven magneto. John Richardson Wigham was the first to develop a system for gas illumination of lighthouses, his improved gas'crocus' burner at the Baily Lighthouse near Dublin was 13 times more powerful than the most brilliant light known. The vaporized oil burner was invented in 1901 by Arthur Kitson, improved by David Hood at Trinity House; the fuel was vaporized at high pressure and burned to heat the mantle, giving an output of over six times the luminosity of traditional oil lights.
The use of gas as illuminant became available with the invention of the Dalén light by Swedish engineer, Gustaf Dalén. He used Agamassan, a substrate, to absorb the gas allowing safe storage and hence
Nicaragua the Republic of Nicaragua, is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Managua is the country's capital and largest city and is the third-largest city in Central America, behind Tegucigalpa and Guatemala City; the multi-ethnic population of six million includes people of indigenous, European and Asian heritage. The main language is Spanish. Indigenous tribes on the Mosquito Coast speak English. Inhabited by various indigenous cultures since ancient times, the Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century. Nicaragua gained independence from Spain in 1821; the Mosquito Coast followed a different historical path, with the English colonizing it in the 17th century and coming under the British rule, as well as some minor Spanish interludes in the 19th century. It became an autonomous territory of Nicaragua in 1860 and the northernmost part of it was transferred to Honduras in 1960.
Since its independence, Nicaragua has undergone periods of political unrest, dictatorship and fiscal crisis, leading to the Nicaraguan Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and the Contra War of the 1980s. The mixture of cultural traditions has generated substantial diversity in folklore, cuisine and literature the latter given the literary contributions of Nicaraguan poets and writers, such as Rubén Darío. Known as the "land of lakes and volcanoes", Nicaragua is home to the second-largest rainforest of the Americas; the country has set a goal of 90% renewable energy by the year 2020. The biological diversity, warm tropical climate and active volcanoes make Nicaragua an popular tourist destination. There are two prevailing theories on; the first is that the name was coined by Spanish colonists based on the name Nicarao, the chieftain or cacique of a powerful indigenous tribe encountered by the Spanish conquistador Gil González Dávila during his entry into southwestern Nicaragua in 1522. This theory holds that the name Nicaragua was formed from Nicarao and agua, to reference the fact that there are two large lakes and several other bodies of water within the country.
However, as of 2002, it was determined that the cacique's real name was Macuilmiquiztli, which meant "Five Deaths" in the Nahuatl language, rather than Nicarao. The second theory is that the country's name comes from any of the following Nahuatl words: nic-anahuac, which meant "Anahuac reached this far", or "the Nahuas came this far", or "those who come from Anahuac came this far". Paleo-Americans first inhabited what is now known as Nicaragua as far back as 12,000 BCE. In pre-Columbian times, Nicaragua's indigenous people were part of the Intermediate Area, between the Mesoamerican and Andean cultural regions, within the influence of the Isthmo-Colombian area. Nicaragua's central region and its Caribbean coast were inhabited by Macro-Chibchan language ethnic groups, they had coalesced in Central America and migrated to present-day northern Colombia and nearby areas. They lived a life based on hunting and gathering, as well as fishing, performing slash-and-burn agriculture. At the end of the 15th century, western Nicaragua was inhabited by several different indigenous peoples related by culture to the Mesoamerican civilizations of the Aztec and Maya, by language to the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area.
The Chorotegas were Mangue language ethnic groups who had arrived in Nicaragua from what is now the Mexican state of Chiapas sometime around 800 CE. The Pipil-Nicarao people were a branch of Nahuas who spoke the Nahuat dialect, like the Chorotegas, they too had come from Chiapas to Nicaragua in 1200 CE. Prior to that, the Pipil-Nicaraos had been associated with the Toltec civilization. Both the Chorotegas and the Pipil-Nicaraos were from Mexico's Cholula valley, had migrated southward. Additionally, there were trade-related colonies in Nicaragua, set up by the Aztecs starting in the 14th century. In 1502, on his fourth voyage, Christopher Columbus became the first European known to have reached what is now Nicaragua as he sailed southeast toward the Isthmus of Panama. Columbus explored the Mosquito Coast on the Atlantic side of Nicaragua but did not encounter any indigenous people. 20 years the Spaniards returned to Nicaragua, this time to its southwestern part. The first attempt to conquer Nicaragua was by the conquistador Gil González Dávila, who had arrived in Panama in January 1520.
In 1522, González Dávila ventured into the area that became known as the Rivas Department of Nicaragua. It was there that he encountered an indigenous Nahua tribe led by a chieftain named Macuilmiquiztli, whose name has sometimes been erroneously referred to as "Nicarao" or "Nicaragua". At the time, the tribe's capital city was called Quauhcapolca. González Dávila had brought along two indigenous interpreters, taught the Spanish language, thus he was able to have a discourse with Macuilmiquiztli. After exploring and gathering gold in the fertile western valleys, González Dávila and his men were attacked and driven off by the Chorotega, led by the chieftain Diriangen; the Spanish attempted to convert the tribes to Christianity. The first Spanish permanent settlements were founded in 1524; that year, the conquistador
Placer is a term used by Spanish and Portuguese navigators and cartographers to refer to a certain kind of submerged bank or reef. The bottom of such a reef is sandy, but there are some where the bottom is muddy or stoney. Although most reefs designated as placer are flat and shallow, exceptionally there are some that do not share those characteristics and are known as placer acantilado. A placer provides an anchorage for seagoing vessels. Spanish navigator and explorer Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa commented that placer originated as a term derived from placer mining in the Antilles, where pearl fishing was done on shallow sandy reefs, which were compared to the sandy grounds in rivers where gold nuggets were found. Since the word Placer in Spanish means'pleasure', according to 16th century scientist Juan Pérez de Moya a placer is every dangerous submerged shallow bank. Moya claims that the landforms that received this denomination did so in an ironical manner, for it would be everything but a pleasure to navigate those treacherous waters under the constant risk of running aground.
However, other navigators contradict Moya by claiming that such a shallow ground would provide mariners with a much welcome anchorage after a long open sea journey, for in some placeres the waters are not as rough as in the open seas. The term appears in Spanish nautical charts as placer, although Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa writes it as placel; the Portuguese language equivalent and derived term is parcel. In present times some of the geographical names used by the Spanish cartographers, such as Placer de los Colorados, Placer de los Estudios, Placer de Playa Grande, Placer de Montechristi, Placer de Quatro Cayos, Placer de la Gallega, Placer de las Tortugas and Placer de los Siete Hermanos have become obsolete or have been superseded by English terms. Still, many other placeres mentioned in 19th-century Spanish Navigation Instruction Manuals were not named. Not all placeres are in the open sea. Paracel Islands. Portuguese navigators whose vessels frequented the South China Sea as early as at the beginning of the 16th century, were the first to refer to the Paracel Islands as Ilhas do Pracel.
French explorers and cartographers used the Portuguese terms Parcel. In the "Map of the coast of Tonquin and Cochinchina", made in 1747 by Pierre d'Hondt, the dangerous cluster of reefs of the Ilhas do Pracel was labeled "Le Paracel". Parcel dos Abrolhos and Parcel das Paredes, in the Abrolhos Archipelago area off the Brazilian coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Placer de los Roques known as Cay Sal Bank. Placer de la Serranilla, historical name of the Serranilla Bank. Placer de la Víbora, former name of Pedro Bank. Placer de Rosalinda, Spanish name of Rosalind Bank. Placer de la Misteriosa, Spanish name of Misteriosa Bank. Placer de la Guaira, Spanish name of La Guaira Bank. Placer de los Caicos, Spanish name of the Caicos Bank. Placer de las Bóvedas, in the Mediterranean Sea east of Estepona, a good fishing and scuba diving site. Ocean bank Reef Fishing in the Placer de la Guaira