ABOARD CCGS SIR WILFRID LAURIER—The long-lost Franklin wreck has so many stories to tell after some 160 years on the bottom that even seasoned underwater archeologists have trouble taking it all in.
The divers got their second close look Thursday, their last until next year at a site so rich in information and relics that they’re calling it an archaeologist’s dream.
“This is going to rank as one of the biggest discoveries and studies in the field of underwater archeology,” said Marc-Andre Bernier, a 25-year veteran of diving on shipwrecks. He heads the Parks Canada team.
The archeologists won’t say if they think the wreck is HMS Erebus or HMS Terror. They insist on taking that, and every other step, slowly. Read more.
A trove of gold coins, bracelets, buckles and brooches are among the precious treasures retrieved from a 157-year-old shipwreck off the coast of South Carolina.
The “Ship of Gold,” known in its sailing days as the SS Central America, was loaded down with 30,000 lbs. (13,600 kilograms) of gold when a hurricane sent it to the watery depths 160 miles (260 kilometers) from the coast of South Carolina on Sept. 12, 1857. In 1988, the shipwreck site was discovered, and recovery efforts pulled large amounts of gold from the bottom. But only about 5 percent of the site was excavated.
Now, deep-sea exploration company Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc., is re-excavating the site. Divers first pulled up five gold bars and two gold coins from the wreck in April 2014. Now, the recovery ship, the Odyssey Explorer, is benched for repairs, and archaeologists are quite literally counting the booty. Read more.
ABOARD CCGS SIR WILFRID LAURIER—Underwater archeologists made their first dive on the newly discovered Franklin Expedition shipwreck Wednesday, raising hopes the world will soon know the historic vessel’s identity.
“The most incredible thing we’ve ever seen,” Marc-Andre Bernier, head of Parks Canada’s underwater archeology team and 25-year veteran of diving on wrecks, said after more than eight hours at the site.
But the archeologists, who were diving in frigid water at 1 C, aren’t ready to reveal what they saw and photographed during a full day of exploring the site.
They want time to consider what they’ve learned, and maybe dive again if the weather is good, before announcing any conclusions. Read more.
A group of marine archaeologists kicked off a mission this week to explore an ancient shipwreck at the bottom of the Aegean Sea not with a sub, but with a semi-robotic metal diving suit that looks likes it was taken straight out of a James Bond movie.
Sponge divers first discovered the 2,000-year-old shipwreck off the Greek island Antikythera in 1900. They recovered fragments of bronze statues, corroded marble sculptures, gold jewelry and, most famously, the Antikythera mechanism, a clocklike astronomical calculator sometimes called the world’s oldest computer. Teams led by Jacques Cousteau pulled up more artifacts and even found human remains when they visited the wreck in the 1950s and 1970s. Read more.
Archaeologists set out Monday to use a revolutionary new deep sea diving suit to explore the ancient shipwreck where one of the most remarkable scientific objects of antiquity was found.
The so-called Antikythera Mechanism, a 2nd-century BC device known as the world’s oldest computer, was discovered by sponge divers in 1900 off a remote Greek island in the Aegean.
The highly complex mechanism of up to 40 bronze cogs and gears was used by the ancient Greeks to track the cycles of the solar system. It took another 1,500 years for an astrological clock of similar sophistication to be made in Europe. Read more.
Divers exploring an underwater shipwreck have discovered parts of sailors’ shoes, which could give clues about life in the 17th Century.
The soles and insoles were recovered from The London, a warship which sank off the Essex coast in 1665.
Evidence of cabins and hand-made glass windows were also found during dives to the wreck.
Archaeologists have said the excavation could be “similar in scope” to the Mary Rose warship.
An English Heritage spokeswoman said “We’re very excited about what the objects might be able to tell us about life during this period of great change, between the first half of the 16th Century and the second half of the 17th Century as Britain was expanding as a sea power.” Read more.
Parks Canada’s underwater archaeologists return to the Arctic on Thursday with their diving equipment, hoping to reach out and touch the wreck of a Franklin expedition ship before the ice moves in.
The two ships of Capt. Sir John Franklin vanished trying to find the Northwest Passage. Stuck fast in ice in 1846, they probably sank by 1848. Inuit lore tells of masts sticking up through the ice.
Sometime last week — the searchers won’t say when, to avoid giving clues to the site’s location — sonar found the crystal-clear image of a ship’s hull in just 11 metres of water in Victoria Strait. Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the find Tuesday.
The divers urgently want to answer some pressing questions before summer ends and ice prevents further exploration: Is this ship Erebus, or the nearly identical Terror? Read more.
Researchers from a laboratory in Gdynia have concluded that a 200-year old bottle found in a shipwreck this June contained gin.
Divers from the National Maritime Museum found a 30cm stoneware bottle in a shipwreck in the Gdansk Bay area earlier this year.
As the bottle is embossed with the name ‘Selters,’ a noted soda-producing village in Germany’s Taunus mountains, it was originally thought to contain water.
Scientists later announced that the bottle contained a form of liquor.
The bottle was handed over to the J.S. Hamilton Poland laboratory in Gdynia, which announced its final conclusion this Monday. Read more.