09/08/2014 06:35 EDT | Updated 11/08/2014 05:59 EST

Nunavut research team finds small artifact from doomed Franklin expedition

IQALUIT, Nunavut - A team of archeologists has found a tiny fragment left from the Franklin Expedition.

They found an iron fitting that once helped support a boat from one of the doomed expedition's ships in the King William Island search area.

The searchers say it's the first Franklin artifact found in modern times.

The two ships of the Franklin Expedition disappeared during an 1845 search for the Northwest Passage.

They were the subject of many searches throughout the 19th century, but the mystery of what happened to John Franklin and his men has never been solved.

The expedition has been the subject of songs, poems and novels every since.