Parks Canada has revealed that their expedition teams have recovered 275 artifacts this year from the famous Franklin Shipwreck.
In 1845, Sir John Franklin and his 129 men began their voyage from England in search of a Northwest passage to Asia. The two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, were faced with harsh weather and ice blockades. Ultimately, the crew decided to abandon the ships in an attempt to survive, though none were able to. Various search parties over the next decades attempted to locate the ships or their survivors, but without luck.
However, in 2014, the first of the two ships was discovered – followed by the discovery of the second ship in 2016. Collectively called the Franklin Shipwreck, Parks Canada had planned to begin exploring the wreckage in 2020 but the plans were halted due to the pandemic. In April of this year, a team of archaeologists was finally able to start exploring the shipwreck. They were equipped with special suits that could withstand the depth and the cold temperature.
Over the year, the team made a total of 56 dives – primarily to HMS Erebus, which was in a more fragile state. Exploring the ship, they recovered hundreds of artifacts dating back to the mid and early 19th century, including glasses, a folio, and table settings. These recovered artifacts would be owned jointly by the Inuit Heritage Trust and the Canadian government.