WHAT: HISTORIC SHIPWRECKS
WHERE: QUEBEC, CANADA
DATE OF WRECKS: 16TH-20TH A.D.
Centuries of European fishing, whaling, and trading have taken place in and around the waters of the Gaspe Peninsula. In 1534 Jacques Cartier took his first steps on the shore of Gaspe Bay, claiming the land for France. Prior to Cartier, Basque whalers and fisherman had frequented the waters around Gaspe, Newfoundland, and Labrador. It is possible that even Vikings, who are known to have made camp in L’Anse aux Meadows Newfoundland, found their way 400 miles southwest to the shores of the Gaspe Coast. Before all of this, several populations of indigenous peoples lived in Gaspe, and used the surrounding ocean for fishing. Because of these centuries of human activity centering around the bays and Gulf of the St. Lawrence, the potential for material culture in the form of shipwrecks beneath the water is extremely high. This project will focus on locating cultural heritage materials in Gaspe Bay, an area sheltered by a peninsula known as Shiphead, and adjoining Forillon National Park to the north.
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