Abstract: Archaeology and Conservation of the Heroic Era Exploration Bases on Ross Island, Antarctica


The Antarctic continent has presented challenges to mankind since early whaling vessels and discovery expeditions began investigating her shores in the early 1800’s. The Antarctic Heritage Trust, a New Zealand based non-profit, is responsible for the archaeology and preservation of four heroic era expedition bases constructed on Ross Island in Antarctica. The bases consist of pre-fabricated huts that were brought down on the expedition ships and man-hauled to the shore. Carsten Borchgrevink’s Southern Cross Expedition (1898-1900) constructed several hut structures at Cape Adare and most notably achieved the first winter-over season on the continent. The second journey to the region was conducted by Captain Robert Falcon Scott on the Discovery Expedition (1901-1904) where a hut was constructed on Hut Point in an Australian outback layout. Returning to lead the Nimrod Expedition (1907-1909), Sir Ernest Shackleton, directed the construction of a hut and scientific observation points at Cape Royds. The fourth and final exploration base was constructed by the Terra Nova Expedition (1910-1913) led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott at Cape Evans from which he successfully explored the South Pole. In 2002, the Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project was launched in an effort to document and preserve these rare historic monuments. This lecture will discuss the archaeological and conservation challenges that the bases present.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:







Cherry-Garrard, Apsley, 1922, The Worst Journey in the World.

Scott, Robert Falcon, 1905, The Voyage of the Discovery.

Scott, Robert Falcon, 1913, Scott’s Last Expedition.

Shackleton, Ernest, 1909, The Heart of the Antarctic.

Tyler-Lewis, Kelly, 2006, The Lost Men.

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