July 17, 2024

Archeologists delve into enigmatic Canadian shipwreck

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A mysterious shipwreck, believed to date back to the 19th century, has washed up on the snow-covered shores of Newfoundland, Canada’s Atlantic island province, sparking interest among both spectators and archaeologists eager to uncover its secrets.

A team of archaeologists and volunteers mobilized over the past weekend to salvage remnants of the 30-meter (100 feet) long vessel before ocean tides reclaim it. Among the recovered artifacts are wooden planks and metal sheathing from the keel, which have been dispatched to a laboratory for thorough analysis.

During a news conference on Tuesday, archaeologist Jamie Brake explained, “We’re hoping to identify the wood species and age of the wood and to identify the make-up of the metal. Those things will give us clues as to its age and origin.” He acknowledged the challenging conditions at the site, with the wreck enduring battering from the ocean waves, making it less than ideal for immediate study.

Situated on the shores of J. T. Cheeseman Provincial Park on Newfoundland’s southwest tip, the shipwreck was initially discovered in late January, nestled within an area notorious for its shallow rocky formations that have historically ensnared numerous vessels. Newfoundland’s Archaeology Office attests to the common occurrence of ancient shipwrecks in this vicinity, numbering in the thousands, as European ships traversed these perilous waters for centuries.

Speculation surrounds the origins of the ship, with some attributing its appearance to the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, which battered Canada’s Atlantic coast in September 2022. Despite the treacherous conditions, a stream of curious Newfoundlanders have flocked to the site, captivated by the imposing presence of the wreck.

“It’s a sizeable vessel,” remarked Brake, acknowledging the allure of the discovery. “It is a pretty amazing thing to see. I can understand why this captures people’s imagination, why people are so interested in it.” As efforts continue to unfold, the enigmatic shipwreck promises to unveil layers of history and intrigue, shedding light on a bygone era of maritime exploration and adventure.

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