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ARCHAEOLOGY IN AUSTRALIA

 

Australia's unexplained mysteries and enigmas

 

For those of you who have read my AUTOBIOGRAPHY on this web-site, this page will be of great interest. 

(If you haven't read it ... just go to the top of this page and 'click' on to COMPANY PROFILE at the top of this page and all will be revealed).

In the past 50 years that I have lived in Australia, Australian history has (and still is) been a fascinating subject. Why wasn't this continent found by the early seafarers like the Egyptians, Romans, Celts and others?

Well, after much research, I feel we were, but not to the full extent as in other countries.

This article will possibly create much discussion as there are many questions which need an answer. There will be many believers, non-believers, skeptics or those, who like me, will still have an open mind as to this subject.

While most of us who were taught in Australian schools that Captain James Cook first sighted Australia at a place now known as Point Hicks in Southern New South Wales on the 20th April, 1770 – this may not be correct.

(It is interesting to note that the British Admiralty gave him a map, to try and find the Great Southern Continent was, in fact, chartered by the Portuguese explorer, Christovao de Mendonocca, in 1522. This explorer had already chartered the Australian northern and eastern coastline, right down to Warrnambool, in Victoria, long before Captain James Cook set sail, but he was forced to turn back when he lost one of his ships).

We were also taught that Abel Tasman discovered Tasmania in 1642 (then known as Van Dieman's Land) and that William Dampier visited the shores of North West Australia in 1688. It is also known that a Dutch explorer named Willem de Vlamingh made an inland exploration of the west coast in 1697. There are some others too.

 History therefore, could in fact, may have to be re-written!

Much evidence has been provided in the way of ancient relics that have come to light over the years – but in reality, has not been proven to its fullest extent.

I hope the following information will provide you with something to think about.

Who were the first people that inhabited this continent and when?

Let us look at some facts:

MAPS

Some early maps, one of which was drawn by Arabian Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi of Baghdad records the Java-Australian region in his book written in 817 – 826 AD which included 4 maps. The only surviving manuscript is held at the Strasburg University, France. It is claimed he drew the maps from the records of Sinbad ten years after his final voyage. Another ancient Ptolemy World map depicts Ceylon/Java/Australia as one land mass called 'Taprobana Infula Mare Indicum'.

It appears the Chinese drew their first official map of Australia in 1320 AD. It was referred to as the Chu Ssu Pen map. It can only be assumed that the Chinese without doubt, had the capabilities of sailing regularly to Australia, mapping and exploring its coastal and nearby inland areas.

In the time between c. 1400 – 1500 AD, the Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and French came exploring the coastlines of Australia. There are numerous wonderful maps of antiquity in institutions that show evidence of their great explorative journeys. Some of these include (a) The De Noha Map of 1414 (b) The Genovese World Map of 1451 (c) The Toscanelli Map of 1474.

It is believed that a porcelain map showing a reasonable accurate outline of Australia is supposed to have been presented to the Chinese emperor, Ying Tsung in 1477, suggesting that the continent had been circumnavigated by Chinese seamen before that date.

In 1542, the Dutchman, Cornelius Wytfliet published a map showing roughly the East and West coast and the Gulf of Carpentaria.

A map which is held in the Vatican Library, Italy, shows Jesuit Fr. Ricci's North Queensland map which formed part of his world map drawn in Peking, China in 1602.

A Dutch map of Australia was prepared by Pieter van den Keere in 1608 was prepared just before Abel Tasman's discoveries when little was known by Europeans of the fabulous continent Terra Australia Incognita. The Spanish who were exploring the Australian landmass one to two centuries previous were far more advanced in their knowledge of the southern land and did not share their discoveries with the Dutch.

ANCIENT MARINERS

Many highly publicised theories abound as to which ancients visited this land aeons ago. Egyptians, Arabians, Sumerians, Romans, Greeks, Libyans, Phoenicians, Asian Indians, Chinese, American Indians, Mayans, Vikings and Polynesians have all been suggested.

It appears ancient mariners from China had a long and perhaps closer relationship with the great south land than previously thought. For instance, ancient Chinese writings record two Australian solar eclipses in 592 BC and 553 BC. The Egyptians for instance, recorded their experiences of an Australian eclipse in 232 BC which is recorded within unique cave wall carvings and writings discovered in Irian Jaya which was formally north-west New Guinea.

It also appears almost certain when one considers other Aboriginal rock paintings of Arab Dhows (sailing craft) and clothed figures located at various locations in north-western Australia, Northern Territory, Torres Strait and Central Queensland islands.

The following early records should be considered:

  1. It is claimed that 12th Century Viking records identified Australia as 'Solar Partistra – the sunburnt land'.
  2. Egyptians (seemingly supported by some very early Aboriginal legends) tell of a time when the sun rose in the west and set in the east – the reverse of today. Does this indicate that the Earth's axis changed so that they experienced the reversal of the North and South Poles?
  3. Archaeologists have indicated by radiocarbon dating that ancient human occupation of the continent goes back to at least 22,000 years BC. Anthropologists are said to place ancient human occupations at 30,000 to 40,000 years BC. More modern techniques can now place such occupations to at least 160,000 years BC.
  4. Claims were made that old Egyptian writings state that their civilization learnt to build the pyramids from an ancient people who once came from a great south land in the east.

 

The following State by State list of unexplained mysteries previously recorded in Australia need answering. How did they get there? .... Perhaps, you may have an idea or an answer?

QUEENSLAND

  1. The Gympie Pyramid. This pyramidal structure was situated to the north-east of Gympie. It was 100 feet high and consisted of a series of terraces up to 4 feet tall and eight feet across and was constructed of small to larger lumps of localised stone. It had three entrances. There was also another structure nearby. Incidentally, a similar structure existed at Penrith, New South Wales and five others were said to exist in the eastern Sepik region of Papua New Guinea and that these in turn matched other examples found in Egypt. There is also an early history of the possible gold mining activity in the area that took place at that time. The story of the 'Gympie Pyramid' is one by itself and due to space restrictions cannot be expanded here. (Please refer to the notes at the end of the article)
  2. As far back as the 1850's, the early settlers of the Gympie region found many relics belonging to ancient races including pottery fragments, metal tools, forged implements and carvings. One such find found in a field near Mothar Mountain east of Gympie was an ancient crudely hand-forged spoon of an unknown bronze alloy indicating great antiquity. It appeared to be Middle-Eastern in origin.
  3. In 1890, a stepped pyramid structure was found in jungle near Gordonvale south of Cairns.
  4. At Long Island situated in the Whitsunday Passage, lies a wreck of a ship, when in c. 1890, a local sheep farmer named Kean came across some silver cutlery and pieces of silver plate. Further up on the land near the wreck, past the high water mark, he found a Spanish coin and, about 200 yards farther inland, more coins, both silver and gold. Another mystery!
  5. Furthermore, a Grecian coin c. 23 BC. and more scarabs were found in Cairns / Gordonvale regions as well as rock inscriptions in 1910 and 1978 suggesting that a second Egyptian colony had begun c. 200 – 300 BC.
  6. In the Brisbane 'Sunday Sun' newspaper dated 24th July, 1989, a feature article stated a small stone scarab with hieroglyphics – an amulet or seal of office for an important official had been unearthed in 1910 at Mossman, North Queensland. The scarab was originally found two metres below the surface during the construction of a well. It was 9cm in length and made of sandstone. It is known that scarab seals were worn or placed on property from Egypt to Syria. Commanders of the Egyptian ships and army forces also used them as insignia. It also reported of an unusual mound with a perfect square base was found in dense rainforest near Townsville.
  7. 2000 year-old Greek and Ptolemaic coins were reportedly found at numerous coastal locations in northern Australia. The most notable was one found by Andrew Henderson in 1910 at the Barron Falls near Cairns, Queensland. It was identified as a Ptolemy IV bronze coin bearing a recognisable head of the horned Zeus of Ommon. It was 1½" in diameter and ¼" thick and regarded as a priceless relic. It was apparently identified by the Brisbane Numismatic Society c. 1959 as being minted in Barce, Cyrenaica during the reign of Pharaoh Ptolemy IV who ruled from c. 221 to 204 BC. The reverse side shows an eagle riding a thunderbolt – a Ptolemaic insignia.
  8. A Rameses I royal cartouche (an oval ring enclosing Egyptian hieroglyphics) estimated to be several thousand years old was dug up in North Queensland in 1911.
  9. In 1912, workmen digging a well shaft at Gordonvale south of Cairns unearthed at a depth of 12 feet, a large rock carved in the form of a scarab beetle, an object of worship in ancient Egypt.
  10. Just east of Gympie, Queensland, in the 1930's, a highly respected early pioneer of the forest industry while inspecting new areas of old forests between Mt. Wolvi and Mt. Wahpunga west of Lakes Como and Cootharaba in the Cooloola National Park region, uncovered a very ancient 37cm chalice with removable lid/handle embedded in the clay of an old gully water flow. The bronzed-pewter artefact displayed ornate hand-beaten or cast decorations depicting Grecian ribboned heads, lion-head motifs and many other forms of imprint. The handle was missing but points where it was attached can be seen. The chalice-type artefact may have been a wine decanter; or a water jar; an ornate drinking cup (with lid); or possibly an oil/wax light burner. One side had been damaged and holed. In 1998, the current owner of the artefact consulted two antique dealers. In their opinion, they believed the object was extremely old and possibly Egypto-Greek because of the patterns displayed. Today's interest centres on how such an object could have been found in such an inaccessible jungle place where at that time, Europeans would have never travelled or resided. Incidentally, the location where it was found is approximately half-way between Lake Cootharaba north of Noosa and the 'pyramid' site just east of Gympie and near to recently discovered pre-European quarry in the lakes region.
  11. A golden scarab was found on the eastern side of Mothar Mountain east of Gympie in 1959 along with strange inscriptions on a large rock in the same region.
  12. Mr. C. Morton of Gordonvale near Cairns, Queensland, reported in 1960 that at Boogie, an engineer Mr. W. Johnstone while on a bush surveying expedition came across a moss covered slab of what was thought to be stone but was in fact, a slab of cut marble. It was recovered and cleaned to reveal symbols cut into the stone of an unknown origin but in fact resembled Egyptian. Apparently Australian Museums ignored all the photographs but the British Museum identified the inscriptions as possibly Phoenician.
  13. A jade Ankh (the cross of life) was uncovered near Murgon west of Gympie in 1964.
  14. At Ipswich in Queensland during 1965, yielded a cache of hand-forged bronze-copper and iron tools plus pottery and coins dating back more than 2000 years. The artefacts were claimed to be of Egyptian origin.
  15. A carved stone statue (now known as the famous Gympie 'Ape Idol') was unearthed when a field was being ploughed (c. 1966) near the site of the 'Gympie Pyramid'. Two theories is that (a) It could be in fact a replica of the Egyptian god Thoth – the God of Wisdom and Inventor of the Arts of Writing which could be at least 3000 years old and was made from local ironstone. Or (b) It could be one of the missing sacrificial statues for the Chinese God of Longevity buried in the great south land by Cheng Ho during his voyage of 1432(?).This near metre high artefact is currently displayed in a glass case at the Gympie District Historical and Gold Mining Museum.
  16. In the late 1960's, Rockhampton in Central Queensland was credited with the finding of an Egyptian calendar stone and gold scarabs, gold coins and other artefacts estimated to be aged around 2700 BC.
  17. During a dig in 1969 at Cooktown, two gold coins of the Ptolemy period c. 200 BC were discovered.
  18. In 1976, a team of researchers from the Soils Division of the C.S.R.I.O. whilst using a sand auger at Hook Point on Fraser Island, Queensland, recovered at a depth of 2.2 to 2.4 metres, an ancient Celtic lead fishing weight which measured 6cm x 11cm which had a hole in it which indicates an attachment to a fishing net. Extensive studies were carried out and it appears that it was left on the beach somewhere around 1235 – 1400 AD. It is now in the Queensland Museum.
  19. An obelisk stone with a pyramid apex was found in scrubland at Coen in North Queensland in 1978.
  20. In the early 1990's, two elderly men, John Mansell and Ken McKinnon located a small 8 inch (200mm) high carved sandstone/granite head resembling Easter Island art forms in the Tamaree area north-east of Gympie and a short distance from the 'Gympie Pyramid' site. It has not been identified.
  21. A weathered fragment of an old wooden carved object was found in 1997 at the same Gympie site preserved from the weather by a collapsed rock wall. The carving fragment depicts a deity sitting in a squat position holding a portion ledge covering? Intricate line inscriptions can still be seen but cannot be translated. The origin of the artefact again may be Indian/Tamil or Asian/Polynesian. As for age, this has not been determined but it is considered to be several hundred years old and pre-European.
  22. An unidentified hand carved jade-like knife handle depicting a monkey-type creature was uncovered on a quartz-sand hillside east of Gympie where an ancient pre-European/non-Aboriginal site investigation was being carried out in June 1998 by local researchers. The artefact may be of Indian/Tamil or Asian/Polynesian origin.
  23. Aboriginal drawings at the Herberton Aboriginal Gallery in North Queensland, supposedly depict an Egyptian Nile plant.
  24. Magnetic metallic granite artefacts similar to Black Mountain rocks outside Cooktown, North Queensland were supposedly found at the great pyramid in Egypt.
  25. There is a story of a North Queensland cattleman who used to serve his dinner guests off gold plates fashioned from melted down coins found on the station.
  26. On Tuesday 10th February, 2004, the Brisbane 'Courier Mail' has an article (page 13) which reports Phoenician relics being found near Armstrong's Beach south of Sarina. It includes, which is to believed a sceptre of black cast steel, weighing 8 kg with a hammered flat tip at one end. Reports of ancient stone carvings have also been found in the area. Val Osborn and Gil Deem also mention of a headland near Freshwater Point which contains sparkling specks of telluride which is a mix of gold and silver in a seam in the cliff. It appears that this seam was worked extensively a long, long time ago). The full report of this find can be read in the above mentioned article).
  27. Aboriginal legend has it, that a possible Spanish galleon still remains buried with its treasure at the southern end of Stradbroke Island at Eighteen Mile Swamp, 2 miles north of Swan Bay or approximately 5km north of Jumpinpin.  An article on this "treasure" can be read in the 'Australian Gold, Gem & Treasure' magazine.   December 2006). There is also a web-site that relates to this as well,  and can be viewed at: www.stradbrokeislandgalleon.com

  28. NEW SOUTH WALES

  29. Norman Lindsay sketched some drawings which record the fact that the Spanish ships 'Santa Barbara' and 'Saint Y Zabel' took possession of Australia at Bondi, Sydney c.1600 with their sign of the Spanish Cross, ship drawings and names. Mystery ring bolts can be seen at Point Piper rocks.
  30. A 2000 year-old axe blade identified as Middle-Eastern was found in 1960 in inland New South Wales.
  31. In 1969 about eight miles from Sydney, the Gladesville Bridge area produced hand-forged fragments of iron pottery inscribed with symbols and ancient deity representations claimed to be of Egyptian/Phoenician origin.
  32. In 1980, a woman unearthed a carved stone head of the Chinese Goddess Shao Lin – the Protectress of Mariners near Milton, New South Wales. This is on display at Rex Gilroy's Museum in Tamworth, New South Wales.
  33. An amber glass obelisk-shaped pin at least 5000 years was found in a field at Kyogle in Northern New South Wales in 1983.
  34. Two large carved stone heads were excavated close to where the Nepean River adjoins the Hawkesbury River, New South Wales – one of these heads is bearded. It has been suggested, that they may be of Middle-eastern design possibly Phoenician and are extremely old. They appear to be identical to the Phoenician Sun God Mithras and Earth Mother Goddess Demeter which were unearthed by a farmer many years ago from ancient river gravels near Richmond.
  35. A 4th century BC Egyptian figurine and a Roman seal ring (both of which were authenticated) were discovered at The Rocks in Sydney, New South Wales while archaeologists were excavating the site prior to construction of then new ANA Hotel.
  36. Located on the Hawkesbury River in New South Wales found in recent years was another carved stone statue similar to the one found near the 'Gympie Pyramid'. Could this have been the third and final statue from the Chinese Emperor left behind by Cheng Ho?
  37. During building site excavations at Dee Why, Sydney, a perfectly preserved old war mask was found by architect Mr. Neil Durbach of Sydney. Archaeologists have reputedly dated it as being at least 2000 to 3000 years old and of ancient Aztec origins. It is believed that it may have originated from the Inca fortress of Sasay Ituaman in Peru.
  38. In recent times, an onyx rock carved in the form of a scarab was dug up by a man near the Nepean River outside Penrith, New South Wales, which lies on the eastern side of the Blue Mountains, where, at Katoomba some years ago, council workmen dug up from a depth of 18 feet, a small black stone bearing Phoenician letterings believed to spell the name Thuffi.
  39. In early 2004, a lucky Central New South Wales treasure hunter metal detecting around an old house built in the 1880's found a Roman coin (Billon Antoninus of Carinus) minted between 283 AD - 285AD). How did that get there?
  40. VICTORIA

  41. In 2002, a treasure hunter using a metal detector at Port Phillip Bay found a Roman coin depicting Lucinus I c. 307 – 324 AD.
  42. SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  43. An Australian 'Stonehenge' was reportedly discovered on the Nullarbor Plains, South Australia by Mr. Len Beadell while surveying areas for atomic tests at the time.
  44. WESTERN AUSTRALIA

  45. Ancient Aboriginal cave paintings depict European women and bearded men wearing Babylonian-styled hats exist in the Kimberley ranges of N.W. Australia. These can still be seen today.
  46. At the Kimberleys of N.W. Australia in the early 1900's, an Aboriginal clan who had never seen a white man was found to be using ancient Masonic hand signs, words and symbols of Egyptian origin, worshipping the sun and the moon; had a Mother Earth and snake cult spiritually; performed expert ritualised circumcisions of all men; and practiced mummification of the dead in the same manner of the Egyptians.
  47. In 1963 a team of skin divers located the old Dutch ship ‘Batavia’ wrecked on a reef in 1629 in the Alrolhos, a group of islands and reefs 45 miles from Geraldton, Western Australia, which contained a valuable amount of treasure.
  48. Noted Perth skin diver, the late Allan Robinson believed he discovered the remains of an ancient Phoenician trireme (boat) off nearby King Sound, where an unnamed prospector had dug up a 2700 year old Phoenician bronze inscribed plate.
  49. Miners in the north of Australia claimed to have found apparent ancient open-cut copper mines in the Kimberley coastal area where fragments of Palestinian and other pottery have been unearthed. Similar mines dug by Libyans around 2200 years ago were purportedly located in West Irian with nearby ancient rock inscriptions.
  50. On several occasions, people have recovered Spanish coins dated 1618, 1648, 1652, 1653 and 1653 on the beaches about 80 miles north of Perth. Some of these could be from the wreck ‘Gilt Dragon’ which was shipwrecked in the area in April 1656.
  51. NORTHERN TERRITORY

  52. Non-Aboriginal stone hieroglyphics were found at the Olgas and Palm Creek in the Northern Territory.
  53. Aboriginal paintings on Groote Eyland (Island) off the Northern Territory coast clearly depict ancient prows (ships).
  54. Egyptian artefacts and a stone scarab were found in 1960 near the Daly River in the Northern Territory.
  55. OTHER REFERENCES

  56. Mysterious ruins consisting of huge stone blocks were found on New Hannover Island in the Bismarck Archipelago many years ago by a Government Patrol Officer Mr. Ray Sherridan. He also found a large stone idol of a human-bodied, bird-headed deity, and nearby strange symbols that included a chariot. He believed the ruin resembled an Egyptian sun-worship temple.

There must be a lot more which have not been recorded!

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about some of the archaeological discoveries coming to light in Australia. I am sure there is a logical answer to all of these. From what information has been received, it sure looks like there have been many ancient civilizations who have visited Australia in days past.

Acknowledgment is made to Mr. Brett J. Green, author of the book 'The Gympie Pyramid Story' who has kindly given me permission to reproduce parts of his book. The book itself is a gold mine of information which is illustrated with many photographs and sketches.

If anyone has found, or has further valuable information on anything unusual pertaining to this subject, either myself or Brett would love to hear from you.

Unfortunately his book 'The Gympie Pyramid Story' originally printed in 2000 and reprinted three more times in 2001 and 2002 is now out of print.   Brett has now produced a special CD extended version of 'The Gympie Pyramid Story' as an E-Book production for computer users where you can print out your own reference file from the CD. 

This is now available directly from Brett.

For further information can be viewed on Brett's web-site  Rainbow Spirit Warriors  at:   www.degrene.spiderweb.com.au

You can also email Brett with any interesting information at:  degrene@spiderweb.com.au

 

OTHER WEB-SITES PERTAINING TO THIS SUBJECT: 

The following web-sites of interest are also worth checking out for further information:

(a)  Rex and Heather Gilroy, Katoomba, New South Wales at:   www.mysteriousaustralia.com

(b)  http://www.mysteriousaustralia.com/pyramid-sequel/index.html

(c) www.australianyowieresearchcentre.com

(d)   www.awarenessquest.com/osborn

I would be happy to hear of any other sites which could be added to this list.

 

David Cooper

Treasure Enterprises of Australia

sildale@yahoo.com

 

(Updated:  August 2007)

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1st December 2006

NEWS REPORT

The following is a copy of an article by Kelly Peisley published in the 'Hinterland Voice' Number 130, Page 2, November 2006 which will be of interest to our readers:

PASSING THE PYRAMID

The Gympie Pyramid is an unusual terraced hill defying current historical explanation. It is only recently, in 2005, that serious archaeological and geological investigation has taken place. Members of the Dhamurian Society, a group of researchers, hope to be able to purchase the currently 'for-sale' site and erect a small museum building that is open to the public while continuing to unravel our lost history.

With the threat of the Gympie by-pass being built through or adjacent to the site any hope of solving its origins and history would be buried under asphalt.

Lying about 5 km north of Gympie the pyramid is a series of structures resembling an early Mexican stepped pyramid. This is caused by the natural shape of the ridge terminal, which has been enhanced by a series of six terraces. The first four terraces are approximately 10 metres wide, the fifth terrace is about 5 metres wide and the sixth is 2 metres wide. The total area is approximately one hectare.

It was first recorded as an "old ruins complex" sometime between 1860 - 1880.  Following the Gympie gold-rush of 1897, locals used the abundant sandstone blocks for building houses and fireplaces. Reclaimed by nature, further destruction by vandals and souvenir hunters have stripped the site of historical evidence. Stone statues, only one of the original five is remaining, were photographed and removed by Queensland authorities between 1900 - 1960, the one left in Gympie can be found displayed by the Gympie Historical Society at the Gold-mining Museum.

Recently the debate as to its origins became ignited again with the 'Gympie Times' newspaper trying to discredit the author of a book on the Gympie Pyramid, Brett Green (Reference: Gympie Times, 9th September 2006, Page 5), a former employee. The article contained inaccuracies by an un-named "academic" who stated that ancient civilizations did not have the technology to travel to places like Australia from places like the Middle east, for instance". It is definitely established in historical records that many ancient civilizations were able to travel in watertight ships out of the sight of land. The Chinese were the first to invent the compass.

The 'Gympie Times' inaccuracies are further highlighted by the Chinese Premier, Hu Jintao's speech to the Australian parliament on 24th October 2003 stating that "back in the 1420's the expeditionary fleets of China's Ming Dynasty reached Australian shores and for centuries the Chinese sailed across vast seas and settled and mined in what they called "the great southern land".   Australia also appears on Jesuit maps drawn when in China and based on Chinese maps by Father Ricci in 1589 (now held in the Royal Geographic Society, London).

Aboriginal legends tell of inland seas stretching to Tin Can Bay, geologists also believe that an ancient harbour once connected Gympie to Tin Can Bay as late as 1,000 years ago. It was up this harbour, according to aboriginal legend, that big canoes sailed to build a sacred mountain and mine the area taking yellow rubble (*) to their ships. 

The name Gympie is a modern interpretation of the aboriginal name "Gimpi-Gimpie" meaning "stinging tree" referring to the "guardian spirit of the yellow stones (*)". As aboriginals never mined gold, there could be a strong relationship with the Chinese mountain place of "Gin'pi" (the place of gold) where they visited a great south land searching for the yellow stone (*).

The white-washing of our history does all Australians a dis-service. Let's hope the fate of the pyramid site is considered with the building of the by-pass and our true history is revealed with all of its rich fruits available.

(*)   "yellow rubble / stones" - meaning gold or gold ore.

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1st December 2006

NEW BOOK !

THE NATIONAL LIBRARY of AUSTRALIA has just published a new book:

Was Australia Charted Before 1606?  The Jave la Grande Inscriptions

By: William A.R. Richardson

(ISBN-10: 0-642-27642-0 / ISBN-13: 978-0-642-27642-1)

2006, Paperback, 250mm x 220mm, 144 pages. Black & White with colour illustrations.   Price: $29.95 plus postage.

REVIEW:

Dutchman Willem Janszoon's arrival on the shores of Cape York in the Duyfken in 1606 is universally regarded as the first reliably documented non-Aboriginal arrival on Australia's shores. Yet claims abound that the Portuguese, French, Spanish, Indonesians and, most recently, the Chinese were earlier visitors.

Author William A.R. Richardson, Associate Professor at Flinders University, South Australia, examines the evidence for these claims and presents his own case. Much of the Portuguese claim rests on the evidence of a series of sixteenth-century French maps which show a chartered landmass - Jave la Grande, south of Indonesia - which some have identified as Australia. Mr Richardson devotes much of his book to considering this issue in detail, in particular the information that place-names can provide identification.

This book is illustrated throughout with charts and maps, some of which are beautifully embellished, showcasing the exquisite art and skill of the mapmakers of the day.

Further information (and book purchases) is available from:

National Library of Australia

Tel: (Aust) 1800 800 100     Fax: (02) 6273 1084     Email: nlasales@nla.gov.au       Web-site:  www.nla.gov.au/onlineshop

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