This morning, Kevin Sumption, the CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM), held a news conference in Sydney. In his historic announcement, Sumption said archaeologists were convinced they had found the 244-year-old wreck of Captain James Cook’s world-famous vessel, His Majesty’s Bark Endeavour. Sumption stated the archaeological team was able to match structural details, and the shape of the ship’s remains to those on Endeavor’s original plans, positively identifying HM Bark Endeavour in what has been known as site RI 2394 in Newport, RI.
“It is with great pride that after a 22-year program of archival and archaeological fieldwork that, based on a preponderance of evidence approach, I have concluded that an archaeological site known as RI 2394, located in Newport Harbor, Rhode Island, USA, comprises the shipwreck of HM Bark Endeavour.” — Kevin Sumption, Director, Australian National
Finding Endeavour Website
Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project
Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) issued its own statement in response.
“The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) report that the Endeavour has been identified is premature. The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) is now and always has been the lead organization for the study in Newport harbor. The ANMM announcement today is a breach of the contract between RIMAP and the ANMM for the conduct of this research and how its results are to be shared with the public. What we see on the shipwreck site under study is consistent with what might be expected of the Endeavour, but there has been no indisputable data found to prove the site is that iconic vessel, and there are many unanswered questions that could overturn such an identification. When the study is done, RIMAP will post the legitimate report on its website at: www.rimap.org. Meanwhile, RIMAP recognizes the connection between Australian citizens of British descent and the Endeavour, but RIMAP’s conclusions will be driven by proper scientific process and not Australian emotions or politics.”
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