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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 whips. Right whales...
CREDIT: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Basque Whalers Background Having...
Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a slave...
Bikini Atoll, formed over millions of years around an island in the Pacific...

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The Charles W. Morgan sailing en route to Newport on June 15, 2104. Built in 1841, the Charles W. Morgan sailed on 37 voyages to remote corners of the globe during her 80-year whaling career. The Morgan departed in spring 2014 on...
Join marine archeologists as they trace the history of the Trouvadore , a...
Fish swim around the wreck of the HMT Bedfordshire , an Arctic fishing...

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The ocean holds a lot of history. Warships from World War II have been found on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean through the...
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...
CREDIT: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Basque Whalers Background Having already learned to hunt large whales in the Bay of Biscay in the 13th through 15th centuries, Basques began arriving in the...
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...
Smithsonian surveys along the lower north shore of Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada have revealed evidence of a long history of Native American occupation, beginning with the Maritime Archaic Indian...
"This World of Ours, Does not feel steady, We keep rotating, Oi! What will happen to us?" This is one of the questions that a group of performers from the Pacific island of Tuvalu is posed to...
Dampier explored this area of Western Australia and named it Shark Bay because of the "abundance" of sharks in the waters. It is now a World Heritage site. Learn more about Dampier's voyages around...
As these models show, traditional canoes came in a variety of shapes and designs. Some of the models even include paddlers. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit featured story.
Boats Connect Us to the Ocean More than any other objects, boats symbolize human connection to the ocean. As you look through the center of the Ocean Hall, past the model right whale , you can see a...
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...
Made from spruce wood and caribou teeth, this mask was worn in ceremonies of thanksgiving. It sits atop a decorative breastplate with images of whaling crews in skin boats called umiaks.
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...
CREDIT: David Clark Observations of the New World In between pillaging and plundering, Dampier spent every spare moment exploring the natural environment and meticulously documenting everything in...
Geo-archaeologist Jean-Daniel Stanley studies ancient settlements submerged near Egypt’s Nile Delta. Analyzing how natural and human-induced processes caused their sinking may help us protect...
Published in 1882 by Yale Professor A.E. Verrill, this is the first scientific illustration of a giant squid. More about the giant squid can be found in the Giant Squid section .
Jacqueline (Johnson) Peta, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians and member of Sealaska Corporation’s board of directors, sprinkles goose down on a traditional blanket at a...
Classic examples of Northwest Coast art, these rattles from British Columbia illustrate the sophisticated way of life salmon helped provide. They were used during shamanistic performances to cure...
When a new canoe is put in the water, elders bless it with lighted sage, song, and traditional dances. Some canoes also receive a name. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit...
Two divers, one in an atmospheric dive suit (left) and the other in standard dive gear (right), prepare to explore the Lusitania shipwreck in 1935. Over the decades, diving gear has evolved and...
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