Breaking the Ice

Elizabethans in the Arctic

Last summer the Smithsonian Institution in Washington launched a major project under the heading Archaeology of the Frobisher Voyages: Kodlunarn Island and European-Inuit Contact. Martin Frobisher was the explorer whose attempt to discover the North West passage in 1576 might have made a perfect Elizabethan 'Indiana Jones' epic, but for the fact that the passage was blocked by ice. Frobisher's belief that he had discovered gold on the expedition, moreover, was cruelly shattered when, having made two further journeys to the arctic to collect the promising ore (in 1577 and 1578), repeated testing in England confirmed it ultimately to be worthless.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email if you have any problems.