Shipwreck Databases Western Australian Museum

Report on the Queensland Museum 1996 Pandora expedition, 31 January - 24 February 1996

Author/s D. Garratt and G. Kimpton

Year of publication 1996

Report Number: 108

Executive Summary
Archaeologists and volunteers from all Australian States joined Peter Gesner and his staff from the Queensland Museum for a 21 day expedition to the Pandora wreck site in the Coral Sea.

Two areas of the lower deck were excavated. Firstly the ship's magazine, where gunpowder kegs were found, still stacked in tiers. One keg was retrieved. Secondly, the adjoining area immediately aft of the magazine, known to be the cabin of the First Lieutenant John Larkin. This section of the wreck proved extremely rich in artefacts of European and Polynesian origin.

Seventeen days were spent at the site, although diving operations were interrupted for 36 hours when cyclone "Dennis" passed within 100 knL Over 400 artefacts were recovered in ten days of excavation. A small number of these artefacts were selected for a temporary display at the Museum of Tropical Queensland to launch a fundraising campaign for the Pandora Foundation.