(ORDO NEWS) — Underwater archaeologists from Canada have explored the Erebus, one of two sunken ships of John Franklin’s missing polar expedition.
For 11 days of work, they managed to find 275 artifacts, among which stands out a set of drawing tools found in the officer’s cabin.
In 1845, under the leadership of Sir John Franklin, a British polar expedition began to explore the last unknown part of the Northwest Sea Passage through the Arctic Ocean.
It included two ex-Royal Navy bombardment ships, the Erebus and the Terror, adapted to sail in ice to the most modern standards of the 19th century. The crew consisted of 129 people, most of whom were British.
For more than a century and a half, researchers have been trying to restore what happened to the expedition, all of whose members died (you can read about two of them in the material “Well Preserved”).
The first three did not survive their first winter on Beachy Island. In September 1846, both ships were trapped in an ice trap near King William Island and never again went to the open sea.
Part of the crew died during wintering already on King William, including John Franklin himself. The rest of the crew made a futile attempt in 1848 to reach the mainland on foot.
However, systematic work to search for sunken ships and the remains of dead sailors is yielding results.
So, in 2014, researchers found the skeleton of “Erebus”, and two years later – “Terror”. Moreover, the last ship was found 96 kilometers from the alleged crash site.
Canadian underwater archaeologists have announced new research findings from the sunken ship Erebus. Within 11 days, the research team made 56 dives, each of which lasted about two hours.
Although the researchers were able to study only a small part of the vessel, they found 275 different artifacts, such as dishes. Some finds deserve special attention.
So, in one of the officers’ cabins they found a green box, which, at first glance, looked like a book.
However, it turned out to be a set of drawing tools that may have been used to map the movement of the Northwest Passage.
In addition, they stumbled upon an embossed leather tome, inside of which were sheets of paper and a pen. Perhaps it was some kind of diary or log book.
Last year, geneticists managed to confirm the identity of one of the members of the deceased expedition, John Franklin.
A comparison of DNA from human remains from King William Island and the alleged descendants of the crew members revealed that the examined bones belonged to Ensign John Gregory, who served as an engineer on the Erebus.
Contact us: [email protected]