Bonus Blog: Franklin Expedition

Over the semester I found the Franklin Expedition the most intriguing topic. It is more than just an archaeological site where answers are derived from the ground and the stone structures that may be incorporated. It actually has the bodies of the men from the time and the ship that they were carried on. While there are more means to gain answers from, there are still more questions to be answered regarding their behavior! The state of the bodies interests me the most out of the whole subject. Bones are super cool to look at and can have a lot of information on them, but there is nothing like a skin and flesh body clothed to learn about the period from. The fact that there are several bodies to compare to is also astounding. Scientists can better gauge how humans lived back then when they have multiple sources. Along with the bodies buried in ice to be preserved forever, there are scattered bones all across King William Island. Signs of de-fleshing give a radically different view of how these heroes spent their last days on the island.
Equally as provoking is the mental state of these men. Lead poisoning has been ruled out as an excuse to their dementia as of recent so the question still remains as to why they thought curtain rods would be of use for their imminent survival on an ice covered island. This Expedition is at a point in history that we can visualize how life was due to studies in school and extensive research of the mid 1800s, unlike the discoveries of ancient Egypt or cave paintings where so much time has passed between then and now that we, as common folk and not scientists, are so far removed from that time period that we cannot give it the proper amount of attention. With the Franklin Expedition, we have the bodies that look as though they only died days ago, and the oral testimony from Inuits on the island. They are able to dispel falsities about the men and to tell us how many they saw at different times. We also have the ship. Although it is submerged, it is also in great condition considering the time that has passed waterlogged. There are still plank boards intact and the bell of the Erebus is legible and in one piece. I had never heard about the Franklin Expedition and this has prompted me to look further into it to see if any of the questions that were raised during lecture are answered in the future.