The ship’s helm (wheel) astern of the skylight for the Captain’s Cabin of the HMS Terror is shown in a handout photo.Nunavut officials are questioning whether researchers who found HMS Terror had proper authorization to search for the doomed Franklin Expedition ship, prompting the explorers to wonder if there’s an effort to discredit them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Parks Canada-Thierry Boyer MANDATORY CREDIT

Canadian archeological teams to excavate, map wrecks of Franklin expedition

Two ships are the remains of an expedition launched by British explorer John Franklin in 1845

Canadian archeologists are on their way to a remote area in the Arctic Circle for another chance to dig up the secrets held by the Franklin expedition wrecks, Parks Canada announced Friday.

The task of exploring and excavating the two shipwrecks is the “largest, most complex underwater archeological undertaking in Canadian history,” Parks Canada said in a release.

Archeological teams will travel to the wreck of HMS Terror and use an underwater drone and other tools to create 3D structural maps of the ship.

Work on the expedition’s other ship, HMS Erebus, will involve searching the officer cabins and lower deck for artifacts.

Parks Canada said there may be thousands of artifacts aboard the wrecks that will help enrich the country’s knowledge of the expedition.

READ MORE: 20 things we bet you didn’t know about the Franklin Expedition

Based on an existing agreement, those artifacts would become shared property of Canada and the Inuit.

The two ships are the remains of an expedition launched by British explorer John Franklin in 1845, leaving England with a crew of 134 sailors.

Seeking the Northwest Passage, the two ships eventually became trapped in the ice near King William Island, in what is now Nunavut.

Some of the crew members attempted to walk to safety starting in 1848, but all eventually perished.

Many searches were launched since the ships were lost, seeking to find the wrecks and unravel the mystery of the ill-fated expedition.

It wasn’t until 2014, though, that an expedition supported by a broad partnership of Canadian government agencies, Inuit, the Government of Nunavut and other groups discovered HMS Erebus.

Two years later, an expedition launched by the Arctic Research Foundation discovered HMS Terror.

Since then, the focus of Parks Canada, Inuit and other partners has been on protecting and conserving the wrecks, while exploring them in stages.

The wrecks are designated as a national historic site but for now access is restricted. Parks Canada is working with a committee responsible for advising on the wrecks to figure out how visitors might be able to experience the ships in ways that maintain their integrity.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii COVID cases climb to 24 over B.C. Day long weekend

10 cases active, 14 cases now recovered; 23 people also isolating as a result of contact tracing

Boon Docs comics illustrate Haida Gwaii health staff ‘Behind the Mask’

Family doctor and cartoonist Caroline Shooner shares inspiration for new comic series

Two Kwuna sailings cancelled on B.C. Day

BC Ferries making schedule adjustments on Aug. 3 to facilitate charter flight

Fishing lodge ‘shocked’ by B.C. ban on non-resident travel to Haida Gwaii

West Coast Fishing Club ‘shocked and stunned’ by travel restriction put in place July 30

Province restricts non-resident travel to Haida Gwaii amid COVID outbreak

Provincial staff will help enforce travel restrictions from islands, mainland

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Racism in B.C. healthcare: Deadline for First Nations survey coming up on Aug. 6

Survey comes after hospital staff allegedly played a blood alcohol guessing game

‘We want to help’: As overdose deaths spike, beds lay empty at long-term Surrey rehab centre

John Volken Academy searching for ‘students’ to enlist in two-year residential treatment program

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Most Read