2022 Special Exhibition - Sea Peoples: Navigating the Pacific


Blue water sailing in the vast Pacific Ocean demands accurate navigation. Done poorly, it could be catastrophic, as many vanished ships and wrecks testify.


Sea Peoples explores Pacific sailing with both Polynesians and Europeans.  Polynesians were intrepid navigators who set out into the unknown, going eastwards to Easter Island, south to New Zealand and north to Hawai'i. Their methods of navigating were very different but effective in transporting ships, people and goods over vast areas of ocean, using a deep knowledge of winds, waves, ocean swell and the position of sun and stars.


Cook and his fellow European used instruments, test new inventions such as the marine chronometer, and were keen to create maps and charts. The exhibition draws on their marvellous legacy of charts, paintings and drawing, with loans from several major museums and collections.