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: British Empire & Commonwealth
: Wreckage fragment, sheet copper, with nails and wood fragments. 'From the Bounty' This copper sheathing is said to be from HMS Bounty: wooden ships sailing in tropical waters often had their hull sheathed in copper sheet. This protected the ship against waterborne tropical shipworms, Teredo navalis, a mollusc that bored into the wood and could eventually sink a ship. HMS Bounty sailed for Tahiti in 1787, to take breadfruit saplings from there to the West Indies, where the breadfruit (Artocarpus altillis) would provide a cheap food supply for the enslaved workforce on the sugar plantations. After five months on Tahiti, and now en route to the West Indies, the crew mutineed against their strict captain, Bligh, cast him adrift and returned to Tahiti. Some of the crew eventually settled on the remote Pitcairn Island with their Tahitian wives, and established a community there. They wrecked and burned the ship to avoid detection (and the chance to leave Pitcairn Island).
: Commonwealth Institute Collection: Pitcairn Islands, Oceania / Polynesia, Pacific
: mutiny: Pitcairn Islands, Oceania / Polynesia, Pacific
: Transferred from the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, 2012