Location of the first Spanish settlement in the Rio de la Plata Basin (Puerto Gaboto, Santa Fe, Argentina)

Line of research, action

Heritage as a factor in local development.

Project abstract

The fort of Sancti Spiritus was established by Sebastian Cabot in 1527 at the mouth of the Carcarañá River. The identification of its general location in Puerto Gaboto and of the borders of the settlement are the result of studies performed by Argentine archaeologists between 2006 and 2009. The incorporation of the University of the Basque Country and of the ZAIN Foundation, together with funding from the Spanish Ministry of Culture, has provided a new dimension for the scope of the project.

The first season (2010-2011) has provided a rich historical sequence of the site, with traces of pre-colonial buildings, the discovery of the fort itself and of the native re-occupation of the site after its destruction. The historic and symbolic importance of the site, its fortunate location at the entrance to the Islas de Santa Fe National Park and the determined involvement of national and international agents may lead to a new project that will cover both the historical dimension of the site and its possibilities for the sustainable development of a town and an environment that are in a profoundly depressed social and economic state.


Dissemination and excavation.