More Maritime history

Pirate Captain Keitt was famous for capturing the ship known as the Sun of the East . He took the precious Ruby of Kishmoor, hid it from his shipmates and never told a soul where it was buried.
Research at Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada has revealed important clues about the connections between the Inuit peoples of Northern Canada and the Basque whalers of Spain and France. Excavations at...
Dampier rescued Alexander Selkirk from Juan Fernandez island around 1708. Selkirk's story inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe . Read a story by one of Selkirk's descendants in Smithsonian...
Pirates divide up the riches they plundered. Most pirates abided by their own codes of conduct, and life aboard pirate ships was more democratic than that on naval ships of the time.
Humans have long been captivated by what we now call the giant squid ( Architeuthis ). This image gallery gives a glimpe into our fascination with the animal. For a long time, people saw mysterious...
Middle-aged and a retired soldier, Bonnet was an unlikely pirate. Yet he bought a sloop, armed it with 10 guns, and hired a crew of about 60 men. Then he sailed to the east coast of America and...
Home is where the hull is: Since the dawn of seafaring, humankind has had to deal with pesky creatures, such as barnacles, that “foul” ship hulls and boat propellers like this one. Find out more in...
Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a slave ship bound for Cuba that wrecked in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1841, and the ship’s passengers unusual path to...
When a new canoe is put in the water, elders bless it with lighted sage, song, and traditional dances. Some canoes also receive a name. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit...
This inscription was inscribed on a plaque in Dampier's honor.
This map shows the route of pirate and naturalist William Dampier’s first voyage around the world. The journey lasted more than 12 years. Learn more about William Dampier , his voyage, and his...
This portrait of William Dampier hangs in London’s National Gallery in recognition of his contribution to natural history. Learn more about Dampier, the pirate naturalist .
A longshoreman stands in front of a large pile of oyster shells on waterfront pier in Atlantic City in 1910. Back then, oysters were incredibly abundant. In the late 1800s, fishermen pulled in 10...
With an abundance of salmon, early hunting and foraging societies were transformed into settled villages with expanding social networks and elaborate festivities. The festivities often included...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii, has been subjected to horrific human-caused disturbances. Between...
Smithsonian surveys along the lower north shore of Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada have revealed evidence of a long history of Native American occupation, beginning with the Maritime Archaic Indian...
In 1874, Reverend Moses Harvey of Newfoundland bought a dead giant squid caught by fishermen. More about the giant squid can be found in our Giant Squid featured story .
Happy (early) Independence Day! For many of us in the United States, the 4th of July is a time to celebrate and reflect on our national heritage. In many ways, the U.S. grew up on the water and...
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