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Transformations of a man, his ship and archaeology: James Cook, the Endeavour Bark, and RIMAP

Author(s): D.K. Abbass ; Kerry Lynch

Year: 2014

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The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project has mapped eight of thirteen British transports sunk in Newport Harbor in 1778, one of which was Capt. Cook’s Endeavour Bark. Our preliminary studies advance the understanding of 18th-century ship management, and validate assumptions about the adaptive re-use of marine technologies. The Endeavour’s transformations from collier, to Royal Navy explorer, to Lord Sandwich transport, and then overlooked wreck, are an obvious example of re-use that parallels the similar pre-loss transformations of other vessels in the Newport fleet. Later social changes also transformed the man and his ship. No lament about Endeavour sounded when she was sunk in Newport and faded from public notice, but fifty years later James Cook was a hero and the ship was an icon of 19th-century British imperialism. The 20th-century preservation movement then transformed the transport fleet into important archaeological sites, and the growing media interest in heritage tourism transformed RIMAP’s Endeavour research goals to include the creation of a public facility to share our success with an international audience.

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Transformations of a man, his ship and archaeology: James Cook, the Endeavour Bark, and RIMAP. D.K. Abbass, Kerry Lynch. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436589)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-5,08

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America