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

Original Victoria Clipper vessel sails one last time

Vessel sold to buyers in Gabon, Central Africa

Lawyer says substitute teacher fought sexual urges for 30 years

Former Victoria badminton coach Harry Charles Sadd to be sentenced for sexual abuse of boys

Public hearing coming for Victoria police officer accused of sexual misconduct

Police watchdog hearing follows VPD investigation into allegations

Extreme Weather Protocol kicks in as cold night forecast for Victoria

A total of 472 shelter spaces open across Greater Victoria

Oak Bay’s only candy shop closing for good on Friday

Sweet Delights Candy Store going out of business

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Island wildlife rescue centre sees 9 poisoned birds since January

MARS trying to fundraise for ‘rigorous and expensive’ lead poisoning treatment

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

Most Read