Century-old artefacts retrieved from forgotten Antarctica site

Century-old artefacts retrieved from forgotten Antarctica site

A large conservation effort is being made to preserve artefacts from a forgotten and desolate site in Antarctica.

Boots, cans of food, newspapers and other personal possessions are among the 1200 items retrieved from Antarctica's Cape Adare. The artefacts are more than 100 years old and have survived harsh conditions as cold as -50degC.

"The fact that so much has survived is due to the cold in Antarctica - it just slows the deterioration right down," says artefacts manager Lizzie Meek.

The team of four have the meticulous job of thawing them out, preserving and documenting each piece. They've set aside a year to preserve the collection before it's all returned to Cape Adare.

"It's probably the most exciting conservation project that I can think of in the world at the moment," says team leader Sue Bassett. 

The hut at Cape Adare was the first to be built on the continent. Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink paved the way, leading the first expedition party to stay at Cape Adare in 1898.

A conservation effort to preserve the site is being led by the New Zealand-based charitable organisation Antarctic Heritage Trust. The project aims to save the forgotten site.

"The whole purpose of the collection is so it will stay in the hut, and tell that story of what it was like to live in that hut in Antarctica," says Ms Meek. 

Currently the site is an Antarctic Specially Protected Area - the highest level of protection available under the Antarctic Treaty System.

Newshub. 

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