(Also known as Atwood Cay
) is the largest now uninhabited island in the Bahamas
, believed by some researchers to have been the location of Columbus
's first landfall in the Americas, on October 12, 1492.
It is an islet, located in the eastern Bahamas, 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Acklins Island. About 10 miles (16 km) long and up to 2 miles (3 km) wide with an area of about 17.37 mi² (45 km²) it is bound by reefs. The verdant cay has long been uninhabited, but figurines, pottery shards, and other artifacts discovered there in the mid-1980s have been ascribed to Lucayan Indians
living on the cay about the time of Christopher Columbus’ voyages. In October 1986 the National Geographic Society (U.S.), announcing completion of a five-year study, claimed that Samana Cay was the site of Columbus’ first landfall in the New World.
The natives (Lucayan 'Indians') of the island on which Columbus first landed called it Guanahani
. Samana Cay was first proposed to be Guanahani by Gustavus Fox
in 1882, but the predominant theory for most of the 20th century gave the honor to San Salvador Island
. However, in 1986 Joseph Judge
of the National Geographic magazine
made new calculations based on Columbus's logs, and declared that Samana Cay was indeed the right location.Samana
was a name of apparent Lucayan origin (meaning "Small Middle Forest") used by the Spanish to designate one of the islands in the Bahamas. Granberry and Vesceliuus identify that... Read More