Nautical Archaeology Thread

More about the examination of HMS Terror from the Franklin expedition.
Stuff is apparently amazingly well preserved. The hull of the ship is more or less intact as are the contents of the crews quarters. Things like plates and bottles are still unbroken and in place on the shelves in the mess. There are hopes that papers will still be found in good condition which can be examined to find out more about what happened.

Click through to the link above to find the video showing what seems to be an ROV roaming through the ship looking around. It is very much worth watching.

Plates sitting on shelves in the mess.

Captain Crozier's cabin (needs a good dusting it seems).

Bottles and other stuff are still on the shelves.

Bunk, drawers, and shelves in a cabin.

There is lots more of the above in the video.

Unlike last year the weather has been cooperating and there are hopes that work will continue on site until mid September, provided weather and ice permit. No artefacts have been recovered so far, they are concentrating on 3D mapping the interior.

Midway secrets revealed.

'Deep-sea explorers scouring the world’s oceans for sunken Second World War ships have uncovered the wreck of a Japanese aircraft carrier destroyed in the pivotal Battle of Midway. Fought in June 1942, the clash saw US aircraft carriers ambush their Japanese foes and sink all four opposing Imperial Navy (IJN) flattops thanks partly to intelligence gained through intercepted communications.

'The crew of the Petrel research vessel, in conjunction with the US Navy, revealed on Friday that it had found the Japanese carrier Kaga lying 5.4km beneath the waves. This week, the crew is sending robots into the abyss to investigate what may be another wreck site.'

An intriguing 'teaser' in the final sentence too; perhaps one of the other 3 IJN CVs lost at Midway? Assuming in the same vicinity, most likely Akagi or Soryu.
A 'good news' story, but so much for reporting accuracy from a respectable broadsheet.

'One of Britain’s most important shipwrecks has been removed from a list of endangered sites after a multimillion-pound restoration project funded mostly by fines from the Libor scandal.

'HMS Invincible, a 74-gun warship once captured by the French, ran aground in the Solent in 1758 and was found again in 1979. Its restoration, which has been labelled the biggest underwater rescue since the Mary Rose, was largely financed with £2 million from the fines levied on banks in 2012 for illegally altering a lending rate.

'Hundreds of artefacts have been rescued from the 18th century warship and many will be shown at Chatham Historic Dockyard next summer. A section of the bow will be also be removed and displayed, The Times understands.'

The HMS Invincible link is to the RN's most recent ship of that name, and rather than being 'once captured by the French', this HMS Invincible was actually built by the French and captured by the RN in 1747.
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Not new, but some amazing pictures of the state of preservation of some of the Black Sea wrecks in the article.

The lack of oxygen in the ‘dead zone’ of the Black Sea means structures and even intricate carvings have been preserved. Picture: Black Sea Map/EEF

The lack of oxygen in the ‘dead zone’ of the Black Sea means structures and even intricate carvings have been preserved. Picture: Black Sea Map/EEFSource:Supplied

It seems that some more of the missing are going home.

'The wreckage of a British submarine that sank during World War II has been found off the coast of Malta after nearly 80 years, marine archaeologists announced Thursday. The shipwreck is believed to be the HMS Urge, which was sunk some time between April 27 and May 6, 1942. Forty-three were aboard the vessel, which was on its way to Alexandria, Egypt. There were no survivors.'


'The university said the UK Ministry of Defence had confirmed the wreck is the missing submarine. Professor Gambin said HMS Urge was probably hit by a mine while it was still on the surface, shortly after leaving Malta under the cover of darkness. A ceremony is planned for next year to declare the site an official war grave and it is hoped the daughter of the Urge's captain, Lieutenant-Commander E.P. Tomkinson, will be there.'

The remains of a USCG officer, LT James Crotty, who died in a Japanese POW camp in 1942 have been identified and repatriated. His remains will be flown to his hometown, Buffalo, NY, by the USCG. A funeral Mass and burial with military honors will be held next week.

I think it is good that the US DoD goes to the effort to identify remains of the fallen and return them to their families.

USNI Article on LT Crotty

Buffalo News article
More warships found in the Baltic.

'Swedish maritime archaeologists have discovered two wrecks believed to be 17th-century warships, at least one of which is likely to be the sister ship of the Vasa, a historic vessel that sank on its maiden voyage. “When I came down as the first diver ... I saw this wall five or six metres high and I came up and there was a massive warship,” the maritime archaeologist Jim Hansson said. “It was a thrilling feeling.” The two wrecks were found in the Swedish archipelago outside the town of Vaxholm in a strait leading into Stockholm.

'The divers took samples of wood samples from the latest wrecks to be discovered, which will be sent to a laboratory for dating. “Then we can even see where the timber has been cut down and then we can go back and look in the archives and I think we have good chances to tell exactly which ship this is,” Hansson said. Despite being centuries old, the wrecks, like the Vasa , are in fairly good condition, thanks to the brackish waters of the Baltic Sea. “We don’t have salt water and some organisms that live in other waters don’t exist in the Baltic, so it is very well preserved generally in our waters,” Hoglund said. There are currently no plans to salvage them, because they are better preserved at sea.'

And more reports from the Med!

'Archaeologists in Greece have discovered five shipwrecks near the island of Kasos, which include an ancient shipwreck with five stone pyramid anchors. In a statement, Greece’s Ministry of Culture described the ship as a “particularly remarkable find” from the late Classical period. The ship’s cargo includes at least four different types of amphora, or ancient jars, as well as fine ceramics. One of the other shipwrecks dates from the 1st century B.C. and is loaded with amphorae typically found on the island of Rhodes. Another wreck contains amphorae and tableware from the Byzantine period, dating to between the 8th and 10th century A.D. A wooden ship dating to the period after the Greek War of Independence in the 19th century was also found, along with a more recent shipwreck carrying building material.

'In a separate project, marine archaeologists recently recovered ancient treasures from the wreck of the Mentor, a ship used by the controversial Lord Elgin to transport a hoard of artifacts taken from Greece.

'Earlier this year five cargo-laden ancient shipwrecks were discovered off the Greek island of Levitha.'

Trust the Swedes to be on the hunt for booze!

'A Swedish team has salvaged hundreds of bottles of liquor from the wreck of a ship sunk during World War I in the Baltic Sea. Ocean X, a group that specialises in salvaging alcohol from shipwrecks, said it was testing the bottles from a cargo bound for tsarist Russia to see if they were still fit to drink. The group brought 600 bottles of cognac and 300 bottles of Benedictine—a herbal liqueur—to shore on October 22 after recovering them from the wreck of the Kyros, which was sunk by a German submarine in 1917.

'Lindberg said his group located the wreck nearly 20 years ago but lost the position, finding it many years later. After relocating the steam ship at a depth of 77 metres in the Sea of Aland between Sweden and Finland, it took years to clear the wreck of abandoned fishing nets so divers could inspect it, but even then conditions proved to be too difficult to search manually. "After we had been there several times with divers and a smaller ROV (remotely operated vehicle), we realised that the situation was becoming too dangerous," Lindberg said. Ocean X asked a salvage company with remote underwater vehicles to help raise the bottles. Lindberg and his team are optimistic the bottles have not leaked as there is still a layer of air between the cork and the spirits inside, and many of the Cognac bottles were sealed with a thin layer of tin.'

As they lost the location for a number of years, perhaps they've already had a sample or two?
And not to leave the Pacific out of it.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—U.S. Naval Institute News reports that wreckage discovered under more than 20,000 feet of water in the Philippine Sea may be all that is left of the USS Johnston. The wreckage was found by a team of researchers from Vulcan Inc., a company founded by the late philanthropist Paul Allen. The Fletcher-class destroyer, which bore the hull number DD-557, sank during the Battle off Samar on October 25, 1944, when four Japanese battleships surprised the Johnston and other U.S. ships supporting troop landings as part of the invasion of the island of Leyte. Only 141 men of the Johnston’s crew of 327 survived the battle.

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Latest on the ongoing search for Amelia Earhart.

'This summer, the explorer who discovered the shipwreck of the Titanic went in search of Amelia Earhart's lost plane. Two weeks and a multimillion-dollar search later, Robert Ballard said he has found no hint of it, according to The New York Times.'

'DNA testing may determine whether newly discovered bones from an island in the Pacific are those of Amelia Earhart -- and perhaps shed light on what happened to the pioneering aviator after she disappeared. The bones were found on Nikumaroro, a remote island in the western Pacific Ocean, in 1940. But it wasn't until a 2018 study that people began to suspect they could belong to Earhart. That's when researcher Richard Jantz re-examined their measurements and found they closely matched those of the missing pilot.'

From what I understand, for the pre-Renaissance period, that's a bloody big ship.

'A medieval shipwreck has been discovered in the depths of Russia’s Volga River. Workers from the Holy Mother of God's Kazan monastery in the village of Vinnovka discovered the wreck in the spring. Archaeologists from Samara Polytech in Russia were called in to examine the wreck, which dates back to the 14th or 15th centuries.

'Using underwater ultrasound scanners and a submersible drone, experts found the ship, which measures about 164 feet by 66 feet. “Most of the sunken ship is in the sand, but the ultrasound images clearly show [the] aft end and preserved frame timbers, and in the video you can see a large chain and old ropes,” scientists said in a statement. Radiocarbon analysis of a piece of wood from the wreck dated it to some time between 1330 and 1500.'

A different capital for Iceland?

'WESTFJORDS, ICELAND—Iceland Review reports that archaeologist Ragnar Edvardsson of the University of Iceland and his colleagues are mapping shipwreck sites surrounding the island nation. “I am of course first and foremost trying to get an idea of the number of large ships which I do through working with written sources,” Edvardsson explained. “Icelanders were of course so good at writing so they often describe the damage to the ships, how many died, and also gave a geographic location.” So far, the researchers have mapped 400 English, Dutch, Danish, Basque, and Icelandic vessels lost between A.D. 1200 and 1920. Most of these shipwrecks have been found off the coast of Eyrarbakki, which is now a fishing village on the island’s south coast. “It’s really interesting that many things point to the capital of Iceland or the main trading town having been Eyrarbakki,” he added. “There is a big ship cemetery of trading ships there, but outside of Reykjavik there isn’t the same number.” Edvardsson thinks there may be another 600 shipwrecks waiting to be found.'

More than 'bloody great fishes' in Wales.

P-38 Wales

'An American fighter plane which crashed during WWII off the Welsh coast is the first legally designated military aircraft crash site protected for its historic and archaeological interest in the UK.

'The Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft crashed off the north Wales coast in September 1942 and is the best preserved military aircraft crash site in Wales. The designation is from Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service. The P-38 is buried around two metres below the sands. It has been uncovered three times since it crashed — the first sighting being in the 1970s, in 2007 and most recently in 2014.

'The pilot at the time of the incident was Second Lt. Robert F. Elliott, 24, of Rich Square, North Carolina, who flew from Llanbedr on a gunnery practice mission and encountered difficulties — resulting in the crash-landing. The pilot walked away safely from the incident, but was reported missing in action a few months later.'

Not quite nautical archaeology (yet)!


Source: Getty Images

'Venice has been plunged under water after the lagoon city was hit with the highest tide in over 50 years — and the mayor has directly blamed climate change. Over 85 percent of the city is flooded, according to authorities, and St Mark's Square — one of the lowest areas in Venice — is one of the worst hit zones. The historic St Mark's basilica is flooded for the sixth time in 1,200 years, per the BBC citing church records. On Tuesday night, the high waters — or aqua alta — reached 1.87 metres, the second highest level since records began in 1923. Only once has the tide reached a high of 1.94 metres in 1966.'

Can't say I'd heard of the 'Lost 52 Project' before, but well done to them. Hopefully this will bring some closure to relatives of the Grayback's crew.

'A team of ocean explorers say a U.S. submarine with 80 sailors aboard when it disappeared in 1944 has been discovered in Japanese waters.

'The "Lost 52 Project" announced Sunday that the World War II Submarine USS Grayback was found in June after it had disappeared in February 1944 during its final combat mission. The U.S. Navy officially verified the discovery of the submarine that was located about 50 nautical miles south of Okinawa by the group of ocean explorers. The group says in a release that this is the 5th WWII submarine discovery for the team led by undersea explorer Tim Taylor using robotics and other underwater technological methods and vehicles. The project's objective is to find the 52 U.S. submarines that were lost in WWII.'


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