Maritime fur Trade

Public invited to underwater archaeology conference

From Wire Service

The Maritime fur Trade, a fascinating and relatively unknown part of our history is the theme of this year’s Shipwrecks conference at Fort Langley National Historic Site on Saturday, April 30.

The fort is an ideal setting for the conference as its success was directly linked to supporting Russian America. The famous cry “54-40 or fight” came from the fur trade and referred to the boundary between Russian America and British North America.

“Conference speakers will provide a glimpse into this early history of BC” said Lower Mainland director Nicole Ortmann.

This is also an opportunity to learn about other misadventures such as the sinking of the Beaver, the first steamship in the North Pacific and the tragic story of the American ship Tonquin , lost 200 years ago. Keynote speaker Shelley Wachsmann will discuss the impact that tools like sidescan sonar, remote-operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have had for underwater archaeology and the ability of archaeologists to study and record shipwrecks on the previously inaccessible deep-sea floor.

The remarkable story of the finding and excavating a 2,000 year old Sea of Galilee Boat is the subject of the evening Woodward Lecture and dinner. Dubbed “the Jesus Boat” archaeologist Shelley Wachsmann of the Institute for Nautical Archaeology, Texas A&M University, will tell the tale of finding and raising a fishing vessel that was commonly used during the Roman–period.