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

Vernon’s Powerhouse Theatre makes a splash with Girl in the Goldfish Bowl

Performance packed full of surprises, director Cara Nunn says

Play sparks curiosity through movement in Vernon

Hands and Feet invites theatre newcomers to fall in love with production

Retirees gets groovin’ for good health in Armstrong

The magic of music filled the air at Heaton Place

Coldstream back selected to Canada U20 rugby squad

Isaac (Ike) Olson currently on tour in Portugal, expected to play in World Cup in September

Vernon beer baseball league expanding

Okanagan Spring League announces early-bird registration drive; adding new team from Kelowna

Protesters barricade Premier John Horgan’s home ahead of B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrators from the Extinction Rebellion have blocked the Langford driveway

Alleged drunk driver has licence suspended following Kelowna bridge crash

The 31-year-old Calgary man, was issued a 90-day immediate roadside prohibition

Kelowna RCMP seize illicit drugs from Lower Mission home

Four individuals were taken into police custody but were released pending further investigation

Victoria, Abbotsford record biggest jumps in rent prices nationwide: report

Toronto and Vancouver had priciest rentals in Canada

VIDEO: Convoy of forest industry supporters on its way to Victoria

Rally at the B.C. legislature begins with participants setting off from Campbell River

Teen snowmobiler found safe after overnight search in Okanagan

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Summerland basketball team advances to Provincials

Summerland senior girls team wins regional meet, will compete in Langley

Summerland property taxes forecast to rise

Proposed municipal budget calls for increase of four per cent

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Most Read