All was left in complete order: a first look at the wreck of HMS Erebus

Author(s): Ryan Harris

Year: 2016


From the outset, remote-sensing data clearly indicated that the wreck of HMS Erebus survived in remarkably sound condition, a fact later borne out by first-hand diver inspection. This owes to the relatively benign physical environment in which the wreck is situated, its rather atypical site formation history, as well as the elaborate measures taken by Master Shipwrights of the Royal Navy Dockyards to fortify Erebus for Arctic Service. This paper will provide an overview, both internally and externally, of the largely intact hull structure and associated ship’s fittings, highlighting various adaptations particular to polar navigation. Most conspicuous is the novel provision for a retractable 2-bladed screw propeller, the earliest application of this nascent technology to polar exploration.

Cite this Record

All was left in complete order: a first look at the wreck of HMS Erebus. Ryan Harris. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 435048)


HMS Erebus Royal Navy Sir John Franklin

Geographic Keywords
Canada North America

Temporal Keywords
19th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -141.003; min lat: 41.684 ; max long: -52.617; max lat: 83.113 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 969