More Maritime history

In 1872, the United States did something remarkable. We set aside one of our greatest natural treasures, Yellowstone National Park , for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. The logic was...
Excavations between 2002 through 2011 at Hare Harbor have shown that this site was a whaling and fishing station occupied by Basque and Inuit assistants ca. 1680-1730. Archaeologists have uncovered a...
When most people think of iconic American landscapes, we think of places on land. Yellowstone, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Grand Canyon—these national parks are household names. But many Americans...
[[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...
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...
Roberts dressed in embroidered coats and hats with feathered plumes, like an elegant gentleman. One of the most successful pirates of all, he captured 400 vessels in just three years! Learn about...
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...
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.
A privateer was a seaman with a license from his country's government to attack enemy ships. The government usually got a share of the profits. Read more about the privateer, pirate and naturalist...
Master carver Douglas Chilton rides at the prow of his creation—the Raven Spirit canoe—at its ceremonial launch in Washington, D.C. The canoe is now on display in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall...
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...
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...
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,...
This over 2,000-year-old shipwreck in Mazotas, Cyprus, was discovered in 2007. The ship was loaded with wine from Chios, one of the most expensive and sought-after Greek wines in antiquity. The...
Crafted from the skins of salmon, these mittens are naturally waterproof. They kept hands dry while paddling or working with fish nets. Learn more about Northwest Pacific cultures and marine life in...
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...
In 1699, accompanied by a shipboard artist, William Dampier conducted the first scientific investigation of the plants and animals of Australia (then known as New Holland). From there he and his crew...
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