The Endeavour, shipwreck of Captain Cook

A painting by John Alcott of Captain Cook's HMB Endeavour entering Australia's Botany Bay.

From Farrah Tomazin - Stuff

Australia’s announcement that scientists had confirmed the final resting place of Captain James Cook’s most famous ship has been vehemently disputed by archaeologists in Rhode Island, where the shipwreck lies.

The Australian National Maritime Museum’s (ANMM) director Kevin Sumption announced the breakthrough on Thursday, that a wreck in Newport Harbour, off the coast of Rhode Island in the United States, was the long-lost HMS Endeavour.

But the announcement immediately sparked a furious response from the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP), which is the lead partner in the search.

It branded the ANMM announcement as a “breach of contract” and said it was premature.

“What we see on the shipwreck site under study is consistent of what might be the Endeavour, but there has been no indisputable data to prove the site is that iconic vessel, and there are many unanswered questions that could overturn such an identification,” the group said in a statement.

The discovery could also spark a cross-continent tussle over where to store the historical wreckage. While the ship has an important place in Australian history, it also has significance for the US, Britain and the UK.

The Endeavour was originally launched in 1764, albeit under another name: the Earl of Pembroke. Four years later it was renamed by the British Royal Navy and spent the next three years voyaging to the South Pacific, charting the east coast of Australia and the coast of New Zealand in 1770.

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archaeology America Australia shipwreck

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