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October 2018
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International News
Wreckage of Captain Cook’s ship found off US coast
 
(Sydney, Sep 21, 2018):The Endeavour set off from England in 1768 and traversed a world that sailors’ maps had yet to document. The ship bounded through the Pacific Ocean, scraping up against the Great Barrier Reef and stopping in New Zealand and Tahiti. The journey also charted parts of Australia, leading its captain, James Cook, to become regarded as a central figure in the nation’s origin story.

A decade later, the vessel sank after having been sold, renamed (as the Lord Sandwich 2) and scuttled, apparently left to anonymously join about a dozen other ships in a mass grave of wreckage off the coast of Rhode Island.

But marine archaeologists said this week that after a search that spanned decades, the remains of the Endeavour, however decrepit, may have been located. The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project said that on Friday it would detail the results of its study of what lies at the bottom of Newport Harbor, and it is expected to announce that it has narrowed down the wreckage that belongs to the storied ship.

“We can say we think we know which one it is,” Kathy Abbass, the archaeology project’s director, told Fairfax Media.

The discovery has stirred hope that the remains could be excavated in time for the planned celebrations in 2020 of the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s arrival in Australia. But it has also touched on the challenging history associated with exploration, which connected Europe with the rest of the world but also cleared the way to the oppression and devastation of indigenous populations.

For some 25 years, marine archaeologists have sought to pinpoint the Endeavour’s wreckage from a collection of remains from 13 ships. In 2016, the researchers homed in on a group of five ships that they believed included the Endeavour.

Now, researchers say they will release a three-dimensional image of a “promising site,” located off tiny Goat Island in Narragansett Bay in Newport. The scientists have cautioned that time took a considerable toll on the remains.


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