The “Boat Place” Burial: New Skeletal Evidence from the 1845 Franklin Expedition

Keywords: Franklin Expedition, skeletal remains, Erebus Bay, Frederick Schwatka


In 2013, a burial feature was excavated at NgLj-3, a Franklin expedition archaeological site on the Erebus Bay coast of King William Island. The feature contained 72 human bones representing a minimum of three individuals. The composition of the assemblage closely matches the description of skeletal remains of members of the Franklin expedition buried by Frederick Schwatka in 1879. Analysis suggests that the remains include those of the two men discovered in a ship’s boat in 1859 by the McClintock search expedition.