The director of the Australian National Maritime Museum announced on Wednesday that he believed his team had identified the wreck of the famous sailing ship HM Bark. Effort, which carried Captain James Cook and his crew on their voyage of exploration to Australia and New Zealand. However, the museum’s US partners pushed back, calling the announcement “premature”.
The Australian team did not find the ship’s bell, or any other object that would conclusively link site number RI-2394 to Effort – but “the preponderance of evidence” suggests that this particular wreck is indeed the much sought-after historic ship, said Kieran Hosty, a marine archaeologist at the museum. “We found a lot of things that tick the box for it to be Effortand nothing on the site says it’s not,” he said.
In particular, the dimensions of the ship’s samplings are almost identical to the dimensions of the historic shipyard plans, including unique millwork elements at the bow of the ship, Hosty said.
After Cook’s travels ended, Effort was sold and renamed Lord Sandwich, and historians believe she served as a British prison ship during the American Revolutionary War. In 1778 she was present for the Siege of Newport, Rhode Island, and the Royal Navy intentionally scuttled her and four other ships in order to prevent ships from sailing into the harbour. This could explain why so few items have been found at the wreckage site, museum archaeologists believe.
“Everything of value would have been stripped from this ship before it was sunk,” said Dr James Hunter, an archaeologist at the museum. “What has been recovered so far indicates an 18th century period.”
Based on this evidence, Kevin Sumption, director and CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM), decided to announce on Wednesday that the Effort Was found. The decision was not well received by the Rhode Island Marine Archeology Project (RIMAP), the institution responsible for the wreck site.
“ANMM’s announcement today is a breach of contract between RIMAP and ANMM for the conduct of this research and how its results are to be shared with the public,” said Dr. Kathy Abbass, manager of the American team. “What we see at the sinking site under investigation is consistent with what one would expect from the Effortbut no indisputable data has been found to prove that the site is this iconic ship.”
The ANMM dismissed Abbass’s criticisms. “She can have her opinion and we have ours,” the spokesperson told the Daily Mail. “We don’t think we’re in breach of contract.”
The ANMM team plans to publish an article on its research for peer review soon, “and so more information will be made, as is the case for all archaeological projects”, said the holder. word.