Maritime Archaeology Resources

Photo Credit: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales


107 years after Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was lost in the Weddell Sea, the vessel was discovered upright and in good condition, lying 3008 metres below the surface. The wreck was discovered just four miles south of the location recorded by Frank Worsley in the expedition log books as 68°39′30′′S 52°26′30′′W.

After a previously unsuccessful attempt to find the wreck in 2019, the Endurance22 expedition, organized by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, announced they had successfully located the Endurance on 9 March 2022.

The Endurance is recognized as an Historic Site and Monument under the Antarctic Treaty, but its survival is by no means certain. In this open letter to the press jointly issued by IPHC president Dr. Michael Pearson and ICUCH President Dr. Christopher Underwood, the authors outline some of the challenges facing the Endurance, and call for specific measures to ensure its preservation.

Concerns for the future of the Endurance prompted the IPHC and ICUCH, both Special Scientific Committees of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), to formally address the issues in a comunique to the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs on 24 March 2022.

FINAL Op-Ed for Press.pdf
IPHC & ICUCH letter - COMNAP Final.pdf

In the 1970s, when arrowheads were discovered in Antarctica, it sparked an archaeological mystery. Were they the first sign of an untapped history of the frozen continent, or part of a conspiracy to rewrite Antarctic history. Thomas Bywater talks to the pioneers of Antarctic archaeology about their strangest finds, a dictator's attempt to change history, and a woman whose skull was found on Livingston Island.

With thanks to Ruben Stehberg, Fiann Paul, Michael Pearson

For more on this series, head to

Heritage at risk.pdf


HERITAGE AT RISK. World Report 2016-2019 on Monuments and Sites in Danger. Machat, Christoph (ed.), Ziesemer, John (ed.) Berlin, hendrik Bäßler verlag, 2020. 173 p., illus. [Eng] ISBN 978-3-945880-67-8

Assessment of Cultural_heritage_Monuments and Sites in the Arctic.pdf