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.

Just Posted

‘It affects everybody:’ Trudeau’s brownface photos worry Wet’suwet’en chief

Skeena-Bulkley Valley Liberal candidate declines to comment on prime minister’s indiscretion

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

Canfor applies for federal workshare program

Employees eligible for benefits on days not working

Skaters preparing for new season

Also had a busy summer of training

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

Most Read