Parks Canada to resume work on Terror, Erebus next year

Fieldwork scheduled for this year was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Bottles and other objects on a shelf in a cabin on HMS Terror’s lower deck can be seen in this photo taken during the summer of 2019 by Parks Canada. (Parks Canada via Nunatsiaq News)

Archeological work on the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, the two shipwrecks from the ill-fated Franklin expedition that were discovered several years ago in Nunavut waters, will resume in 2022, Parks Canada announced in a news release this week.

Originally scheduled for this summer, the fieldwork has been pushed back a year by Parks Canada and the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee in order to keep Nunavummiut safe from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The work would have entailed close contact between travelling research staff and Nunavut communities, posing some risks.

Parks Canada’s underwater archeology team will instead work on projects related to research and conservation in eastern Canada.

The work on the wreck site in 2022 will build off of the work conducted by Parks Canada in 2019, which included the discovery of 350 new artifacts recovered from the HMS Erebus.