More Maritime history

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...
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...
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.
The Arctic Studies Center's excavation site map of Hare Harbor maps some of the community's excavated structures that archeologists have unearthed. An Inuit house, blacksmith shop, and cookhouse are...
The next time you use any of the following words, think of William Dampier. They are just a few of the more than 1,000 words Dampier contributed to the English language: Avocado, Barbeque, Breadfruit...
For over a decade, Smithsonian Arctic Archaeologist, William Fitzhugh, has been investigating an early European whaling site at Hare Harbor in Québec, Canada . The site and the artifacts recovered...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking Phoenix, one of the last North Atlantic right whales living today. It's estimated that there are fewer than 500 of these whales alive today. Read her story...
In the 19th century, "whalebone" was an important fashion tool—however, it wasn't made out of bone, but whale baleen . Dried baleen was flexible yet strong, and used to create structure in clothing,...
[[nid:3629]] Terror on the High Seas Flaunting flags emblazoned with skulls and crossbones, pirate ships roamed the seas in pursuit of likely prey. The ships carried fearsome men (and sometimes women...
This painting of swarthy buccaneers in the midst of a fierce battle was painted by the prolific American marine painter Frederick J. Waugh, and won an award in 1910. The New York Times wrote: “The...
Blackbeard’s flag showed a skeleton piercing a heart and toasting the devil. Watch a slideshow about legendary pirates of the Golden Age , and learn more about an unusual pirate: William Dampier ,...
A 2011 excavation led by the Arctic Studies Center uncovered this fragment of decorated European stoneware called a bellarmine jug. Uncovering this fragment, that was likely manufactured in the 15th...
The ocean was the world's highway, and ships brimming with precious cargoes plied the waters. These merchant ships were tempting targets for pirates, who prowled the seas' major trade routes in...
Whale baleen, the stiff bristly mouthparts that sieve small prey from the water, was strong yet flexible, and was used to provide structure in many human products, including umbrellas, corsets, and...
The arrows show the direction of ocean currents recorded by William Dampier while crossing “La Grande Mer du Sud”—the Pacific Ocean. The map appeared in Dampier’s second book, Voyages and...
This illustration shows whalers of the early 1800s with their highly profitable catch.
Pirate Stede Bonnett flew this flag. Watch a slideshow about legendary pirates of the Golden Age .
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...
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