Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Canned Remains Volume 54 Number 3, May/June 2001
by Kristin M. Romey

[image] Meyer returns his "souvenir" to Captain Scott's Antarctic camp. (Courtesy The Press, Christchurch) [LARGER IMAGE]

A 91-year-old can of cocoa has been returned to its Antarctica home after traveling around the world with a U.S. Navy veteran for over 40 years. The cocoa was originally part of Captain Robert Scott's food supplies at his camp at Cape Evans. The hut was abandoned after Scott's expedition failed to return from its 1910 trek to the South Pole. Ken Meyer, a Navy photographer sent to document the construction of the U.S.-run McMurdo research station in Antarctica in the mid-1950s, took the can as a "souvenir" when he visited the abandoned hut. After reading a report on efforts to preserve the huts of Antarctic explorers, Meyer felt compelled to return the souvenir. "It needs to be back down there. It was the right thing to do," the veteran said. Nigel Watson, executive officer of the New Zealand-based Antarctic Heritage Trust, is delighted to have the cocoa returned, adding that the can is in good condition.

© 2001 by the Archaeological Institute of America