Canada has determined the historic Franklin Expedition shipwreck discovered in the Arctic last month is in fact the HMS Erebus, the vessel on which Sir John Franklin sailed.
It’s another puzzle solved in the enthralling story of the famous British expedition that tried to traverse the Northwest Passage but ended in misery with all 129 crew members perishing.
The Erebus was the vessel that Franklin occupied as the commander of the expedition and was the base for the captain’s quarters.
Stephen Harper, whose government had backed annual searches for the lost Franklin expedition as a demonstration of Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, announced the news of the ship’s identification Wednesday in the House of Commons. Read more.
DIVERS have promised to salvage even more treasures next summer when they return to a 17th-century shipwreck described as “Southend’s Mary Rose”.
Over the summer months, a treasure-trove of artefacts has been brought to the surface from the 64-gun warship London, which sank in the Thames Estuary in 1665.
Marine archaeologists expect to recover larger and even more valuable finds – including a complete gun carriage – when they start five weeks of dives next summer.
English Heritage maritime archaeologist Alison James said: “ English Heritage and the London Wreck 1665 team are already excited about the 2015 diving season. Read more.
Haiti’s culture minister says a shipwreck off the country’s north coast probably isn’t a lost flagship of Christopher Columbus as a U.S. explorer has claimed.
An analysis by experts from UNESCO is expected within days. But Culture Minister Monique Rocourt tells The Associated Press it appears unlikely that the ship is the Santa Maria.
Rocourt said in an interview Thursday that the remains on the sea floor near Cap-Haitien appear to be from a later ship.
Explorer Barry Clifford stands by his belief that he found what’s left of the Santa Maria. He says he’s heard the UNESCO report raises doubts about the claim he announced in May. The ship foundered on Christmas Day in 1492. It would be a major archaeological find if confirmed. (source)
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.