I could not learn the history of this rusting, smoothbore cannon on Cozumel’s western shore. If authentic, it probably did not see much action. The island was relatively peaceful until the arrival of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortéz in 1519. After heavily damaging many of the Mayan communities, he returned to the mainland to conquer other parts of Mexico. What he left behind was smallpox. Within 50 years, approximately 40,000 Mayans had died. By 1600, the island was deserted. Other than a few visiting pirates, there were no permeant residents here until the middle of the 19th century.