Archive for 09/15/2011

The Telegraph – 

Jo Davies is set to become the first woman to attempt the treacherous Imperial Trans-Antarctic which will see a team of six cross the Antarctic Continent from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea via the South Pole. 

Davies will lead the team alongside Sebastian Coulthard, a Royal Naval Petty Officer from Bewdley, Worcestershire. 

It is due to begin in will commence in the austral summer of 2014 – 100 years since Shackleton set out and they are expecting to take 100 – 120 days to cross. 

“The team are determined to complete the mission that Shackleton once set out to achieve,” said Davies, 

“The next three years are going to be incredibly busy for us with a great deal of planning, preparation and training to do. 

“I am excited to be involved in such an amazing project and very much hope to be the first woman to complete the Trans-Antarctic crossing following Shackleton’s proposed route.” 

It will be the third time the Trans-Antarctic expedition has been started. 

The first being Sir Ernest Shackleton’s attempt itself in 1914 and the next in 1955 led by Sir Vivian Fuchs and Sir Edmund Hillary. 

Now Davies and Coulthard are looking to recurit a further four members to the exhibition. 

There are openings for a medic, a photographer / cameraman, an artist or poet and a scientist. 

They are looking for committed, fit and loyal people and are accepting applications from anyone with a suitable background. 

Alexandra Shackleton, Shackleton’s granddaughter and patron of the expedition said: “I am delighted to be the Patron of the ITACE. 

“I feel confident that Jo, Sebastian and their chosen team will achieve their goal in honouring my grandfather’s epic expedition.”

Full story…

Roxanne Brown – 

Daniel Estrin – 

Israeli lifeguards plunged into the Mediterranean sea this month on an unusual rescue mission: to pull out an ancient ship’s anchor.

Lifeguard Avi Afia first spotted the tip of the anchor on a daily swim five years ago. It was peeking out from the sandy ocean floor about 150 feet (60 meters) from the coast.

It wasn’t until this month that the sands shifted to reveal the treasure in its entirety: a nearly 7-foot (2.1 meter), 650-pound (300 kilogram) iron anchor, probably a spare in the belly of a Byzantine ship that crashed and sank in a storm about 1,700 years ago, said archaeologist Jacob Sharvit of Israel’s Antiquities Authority.

“It’s a feast for the eyes,” said Afia, whose colleagues walked out to the spot, in water about six feet (two meters) deep and dragged it into the lifeguard shack in Bat Yam, near Tel Aviv.

The anchor dates back to the 4th or 5th century, estimated Sharvit, who heads the marine archaeology branch of Israel’s Antiquities Authority.

He said it attests to the vibrant sea trade of the Byzantine era, when merchant ships would carry oil, wine and stones for construction to ports along the coast and across the Mediterranean. The anchor also may point to a previously unknown ancient harbor on the coast, he added.

He said his team of archaeologists would go diving this week to search for the rest of the shipwrecked treasure. He expects to find ancient wine and oil jugs, coins, the seafarers’ personal items – and more anchors.

Shipwrecked finds, while not rare, are especially valuable for archaeologists, Shavit said. Ancient ships often carried brand-new items on their way to be sold in markets. That means researchers can examine those items in their original condition, before they were used.

The collection of items found on the ocean floor also tells a complete story of the seafaring routes and technological advances of that moment in history.

“It’s like a time capsule,” Sharvit said. “Every find, especially in the sea, tells a story of disaster.”

The region’s 5,000 years of seafaring have seen numerous tragedies. Every few days, Sharvit’s divers discover remnants of sunken ships on the ocean floor. So far they’ve found 500 groups of shipwrecked items along Israel’s coast, though he said the anchor is among the most impressive finds.

Full story…