HAIDA GWAII, B.C. - A team of archeologists is preparing to descend to the ocean floor off British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii islands, searching for sunken ships and other artifacts that could offer new clues about life in the area hundreds or even thousands of years ago.
Four underwater archeologists from Parks Canada, along with a volunteer from the Underwater Archeological Society of B.C., will set out for a two-week mission beginning Monday to explore the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve. Read more.
A remotely operated vehicle will dive into the Gulf of Mexico to explore three mysterious shipwrecks that may be up to 200 years old, and you can watch the expedition live in a webcast.
Tomorrow (April 24), the ROV will explore debris and artifacts from one of the three ships, which litter the seafloor near the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. You can watch the shipwreck expedition webcast on Live Science.
The shipwreck investigation is part of an ongoing exploration of the Gulf of Mexico seafloor by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Okeanos Explorer research vessel. Researchers will search for clues as to whether the ships sunk together and if the wrecks may be significant national maritime heritage sites. Read more.
A Hampshire-based charity has been given £1.1m to research the UK’s 1,000-plus forgotten World War One shipwrecks.
The Maritime Archaeology Trust said it will use the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) money to improve the knowledge of archaeologically significant sites.
The information collected by the Forgotten Wrecks of the First World War project will then be put online.
It is thought the south coast could have 700 relatively unknown wrecks.
These include merchant and naval ships, passenger, troop and hospital ships, ports, wharfs and crashed aircraft.
The four-year project is due to commence this spring. Read more.
The shipwrecks of some seafaring cultures have never been found—but not for lack of looking.
Finding modern ships lost at sea, even with the help of radar, sonar, and satellites, can be a herculean task. But trying to find a shipwreck from thousands of years ago is even harder. It’s like looking for a wooden needle in a haystack after part of the needle has rotted away.
Underwater archaeologists keep looking, though, because finding one of these shipwrecks could yield a treasure trove of information—from how ancient peoples built their vessels to where they traveled and who their trading partners were. Read more.
Britain’s rich maritime legacy is under threat from commercial treasure hunters who are accused by experts of plundering and destroying the nation’s underwater heritage.
A group of leading archaeologists and historians warn that unless the government intervenes to protect scores of historically significant wrecks lying beyond the country’s territorial waters, sites including the graves of those lost at sea could be exploited and lost for good.
On Monday the group, which includes leading scholars from Oxford University and the British Museum, will call on the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to sign up to a United Nations treaty on protecting underwater remains. Read more.
A Roman vessel carrying ingots of lead, which was removed from the Sierra of Cartagena, sank more than two thousand years ago off the coast of Sardinia.
Now, more than a hundred of these lead bricks have been used to build the ‘Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events’ (CUORE), an advanced detector of almost weightless subatomic particles (neutrinos) and is located at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy.
Another vessel carrying lead bricks sank off the coast of France in the eighteenth century. Treasure hunters have recovered these bricks and were able to sell them to Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS), despite opposition from French authorities. The CDMS is a dark matter detector located in a mine in Minnesota. Read more.
The Robot Safari in London Science Museum will see the world premiere of the underwater robot U-CAT, a highly maneuverable robot turtle, designed to penetrate shipwrecks.
U-CAT’s locomotion principle is similar to sea turtles. Independently driven four flippers make the robot highly maneuverable; it can swim forward and backward, up and down and turn on spot in all directions. Maneuverability is a desirable feature when inspecting confined spaces such as shipwrecks. The robot carries an onboard camera and the video footage can be later used to reconstruct the underwater site. Read more.
A 10-day expedition has set out from Cairns to find two shipwrecks from the 1800s off the far north Queensland coast.
A team led by the National Maritime Museum is searching for the Morning Star, lost near Quoin Island in 1814, and the Frederick, lost near Stanley Island in 1818.
Manager of maritime archaeology Kieran Hosty says there is great interest in the wrecks, with a number of failed search attempts in the past.
"Both of those are mysteries of the sea really," he said.
"The Frederick, most of the crew was lost, 21 people died in the wreck of the Frederick, and the survivors’ accounts are a bit obscure. Read more.