Archaeology FAIL

Exploration FAIL is something else entirely...

The HMS Terror.  The name itself is cool enough to perk ears.  But take into account the exciting history of the vessel and you can begin to fathom a boat load of reasons why someone would want to seek out this missing vessel, along with its co-explorer the HMS Erebus.

Low and behold, a search for the ships was planned for this month.  However, the team of would be explorers is now facing threat of criminal charges for failing to secure the necessary permissions, leading to this week’s ARCHAOELOGY FAIL!

The group, which includes marine archeologist Rob Rondeau from ProCom Diving Services in Alberta, has been preparing to search this month for the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, which disappeared in the High Arctic more than 160 years ago.

Julie Ross, an archeologist with the Nunavut government, told CBC News she’s upset that Rondeau’s team tried to start searching last week, even though it had been denied a territorial archeological permit.

“I think that this behaviour is very disrespectful to Nunavut and Nunavut resources,” Ross told CBC News.  It reflects the sort of attitude that we meet very often: that people from the South can come into the territory and do anything they want, regardless of the Nunavut land claim agreement, and other policies and procedures that the government of Nunavut has developed and put in place.”  Link.

While I’m sure any archaeologist, including this one, would love to see the missing ships discovered, we want it done in a responsible manner and that includes, first and foremost, securing the correct permissions from all affected parties!  Laws are in place for a reason and it would be wise for anyone, regardless of how ambitious their project is to respect them!

Before you head off on an adventure, make sure that you understand the laws protecting archeological resources on federal lands.  If you are not familiar with the State and Federal Archaeology Laws where you live, begin by contacting your local Preservation Office (SHPO or THPO).

Did you know:

  • President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law in 1906, establishing the first general legal protection of cultural and natural resources in the United States.

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