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

UPDATE: One woman taken away on stretcher after three-vehicle collision at Maclure and Clearbrook Road intersection

Abbotsford emergency crews are on scene but traffic is slow eastbound on Maclure

VIDEO: Looking back at the 1968 Abbotsford International Airshow

Footage from the past show available to view online

Missing man last seen in Chilliwack Sept. 7

Friends concerned for well-being of 44-year-old Jean Pierre Baril

Abbotsford hospital has ‘extraordinary’ challenges, says health minister as ER construction nears

Construction to begin this fall on expanded emergency department at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Pedestrian struck and killed by vehicle in Surrey

Investigators were asking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Vancouver’s Tristan Connelly shocks the UFC world

Late replacement upsets big favourite Pereira, main event sees Gaethje stop Cerrone in round one

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Most Read