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Sunlight and new team arrive in Antarctica

14 September 2007

A new team arrives in Antarctica, just as the first sunlight returns, ready for a summer of conservation work. They are preserving objects left behind at the explorer, Ernest Shackleton's, hut.

Megan Absolon and John Greenwood take over from the winter team who lived through freezing temperatures, hurricane-force winds and 24-hour darkness.

Antarctic blog

The teams' experiences over the last 18 months, including the spectacular sightings of the southern Aurora, are recorded in the Antarctic conservation blog. The new team will be updating the blog as they settle in and begin their work.

Antarctic summer

It may be summer in Antarctica, but Megan and John still have to cope with temperatures of - 40 degrees centigrade, so survival training is crucial.

They need to learn how to survive in one of the harshest and remotest places on Earth, including sleeping in snow caves and polar tents, and using vital radio communication.

'I'm delighted to have the chance to put my experience to the test in what must be the most difficult conservation challenge in the world,' says John.

Conservation work

Since 2006, teams of conservators have been preserving equipment and personal possessions left behind by Shackleton's expedition team on their attempt to reach the South Pole in 1908.

Items such as clothes, cans of food, equipment and sheets of paper reveal personal details that bring the past expedition to life. All the items need preserving before they deteriorate and are lost forever.

This work is a world first for conservation and is part of the Ross Sea Preservation Project led by the Antarctic Heritage Trust. They are staying at Scott Base near to Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds Bay on Ross Island.

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