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Thaw reveals Antarctic explorer’s century-old notebook

A photographic notebook from Robert Scott’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition has been found after a century.

It was trapped in the ice of the frozen continent, New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust said.

It belonged to scientist George Murray Levick and was discovered outside Scott’s 1911 Terra Nova base during last year’s summer ice melt.

Writing in the notebook remains legible, with Mr Levick’s name in the opening pages.

But the binding has been dissolved by years of ice and water damage, the trust’s executive director Nigel Watson said.

He said: “It’s an exciting find. The notebook is a missing part of the official expedition record.

“After spending seven years conserving Scott’s last expedition building and collection, we are delighted to still be finding new artefacts.”

This undated handout photo shows a self-portrait of George Murray Levick smoking a pipe and reading in his bunk in the hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica.

This undated handout photo shows a self-portrait of George Murray Levick smoking a pipe and reading in his bunk in the hut at Cape Adare, Antarctica.

Mr Watson said the pages of the notebook were taken to New Zealand and individually restored.

It was then given new binding and returned to Antarctica, where the trust is working to preserve five sites used by explorers Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Edmund Hillary.

Mr Scott’s expedition split into two groups after reaching the Antarctic.

His contingent reaching the South Pole on Jan 17, 1912, only to find Norwegian Roald Amundsen had beaten them there a month earlier.

Mr Scott and his companions later died of exposure and starvation.

Mr Levick was in the other group, which travelled along the coast to make scientific observations.

Stranded

But they became stranded from the base camp when pack ice prevented their ship from picking them up.

The six men all survived the Antarctic winter by digging a cave in the ice and eating local wildlife, including penguins and seals.

Source: AFP

 

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