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Australian Archaeology
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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 04-07-2013 05:54    Post subject: Australian Archaeology Reply with quote

I've decided to create this thread because - well, there wasn't one and I never know where to stick threads about Australian finds. Maybe some kindly mod can merge the "1000 year old coin" thread in there too.

Quote:
White man's skull has Australians scratching heads

A centuries-old skull found in northern New South Wales in late 2011, in
Canberra. The skull of a white man is raising questions about whether
Captain James Cook really was the first European to land on the
country's east coast.

The centuries-old skull of a white man found in Australia is raising
questions about whether Captain James Cook really was the first European
to land on the country's east coast.

The skull was found in northern New South Wales in late 2011, and police
initially prepared themselves for a gruesome murder investigation.

But scientific testing revealed that not only was it much older than
expected, but possibly belonged to a white man born around 1650, well
before Englishman Cook reached the eastern seaboard on the Endeavour in
1770.

"The DNA determined the skull was a male," Detective Sergeant John
Williamson told The Daily Telegraph.

"And the anthropologist report states the skull is that of a Caucasoid aged anywhere from 28 to 65."

Australian National University expert Stewart Fallon, who carbon-dated
the skull, pulling some collagen from
the bone as well as the enamel on a tooth, said he was at first shocked
at the age of the relic.

"We didn't know how old this one was, we assumed at first that it was
going to be a very young sample," he told AFP.

"When we first did it we weren't really thinking about people coming to
Australia and things like until we started to look at the dates and say,
'Oh, that's becoming intriguing'."


Read all at the link: http://phys.org/news/2013-07-white-skull-australians.html
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 04-07-2013 21:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Fortean Archaeology column in the latest FT has a fascinating round up of many apparently chronologically impossible objects found around Australia.
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gerardwilkieOffline
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PostPosted: 05-07-2013 04:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

White men were already in the Americas at that time , so I suppose there could be a faint chance of a corpse making its way across the Pacific to be washed up on the Australian coast . Also the Portuguese were visiting Australia and was actually discovered by the Dutch in 1606 , but nobody really put any interest in the place till the Brits arrived and took over.
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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 05-07-2013 04:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

gerardwilkie wrote:
White men were already in the Americas at that time , so I suppose there could be a faint chance of a corpse making its way across the Pacific to be washed up on the Australian coast . Also the Portuguese were visiting Australia and was actually discovered by the Dutch in 1606 , but nobody really put any interest in the place till the Brits arrived and took over.


True - but they were on the West Coast and this skull was found on the East Coast. And that's a pretty looooong walk... Especially for a European without any survival skills in the Outback.
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gerardwilkieOffline
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PostPosted: 05-07-2013 04:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dutch charted the nort and western coasts of Australia , but they could have indeed visited the east coast too - Abel Tasman managed to land in New Zealand in 1642 , a date which fits in with the skull.
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 27-07-2013 21:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who was that English pirate guy who visited in 1600

was it Dampier??
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EnolaGaiaOffline
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PostPosted: 27-07-2013 21:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kondoru wrote:
Who was that English pirate guy who visited in 1600

was it Dampier??


William Dampier was often operating in the role of privateer / buccaneer, and he did indeed provide at least some of the earliest(?) exploratory results from Australia. However, he didn't initially arrive there until the late 1680's.
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Anome_Offline
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PostPosted: 28-07-2013 04:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just make sure you get the right one. There were two William Dampiers from the same town born about the same time, one of whom landed in Australia, and the other didn't. As a result many textbooks used pictures of the wrong one.
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 28-07-2013 09:39    Post subject: Re: Australian Archaeology Reply with quote

Zilch5 wrote:

A centuries-old skull found in northern New South Wales in late 2011, in
Canberra. The skull of a white man is raising questions about whether
Captain James Cook really was the first European to land on the
country's east coast.


Why are they concerned about him being the first European to land on the east coast? Is their a confirmed prior landing on another coast?
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PeniGOffline
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PostPosted: 28-07-2013 13:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it were on the West Coast, they'd be talking about who it could be from the Batavia or possibly another ship from around that time:
http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/national/batavia/index.html

Hell of a story, that one!
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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 29-07-2013 01:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

PeniG wrote:
If it were on the West Coast, they'd be talking about who it could be from the Batavia or possibly another ship from around that time:
http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/national/batavia/index.html

Hell of a story, that one!


It sure is - and there is a very good book about it by Peter FitzSimons. I can highly recommend it.

http://books.google.com.au/books/about/Batavia.html?id=cxwgwynKZjQC
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 29-07-2013 11:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another great book on the topic.

Quote:
Batavia's Graveyard: The True Story of the Mad Heretic Who Led History's Bloodiest Mutiny (2002) is a book by Welsh author Mike Dash about the Dutch ship Batavia, shipwrecked in 1629 on a small island in the Houtman Abrolhos atoll off the western shore of Australia

http://www.mikedash.com/books/bg
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 02-08-2013 12:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this best fits here.

Quote:
Mining firm desecrated Australia Aboriginal site
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23527303

File photo: part of the Two Women Sitting Down sacred site, including the Horse's Head rocky outcrop, top left, 25 June 2004

A distinctive feature of the Two Women Sitting Down site was the rocky outcrop called the Horse's Head (top left).

A mining company has been convicted of desecrating an Aboriginal site in Australia's Northern Territory.

Mining firm OM Manganese was found guilty on Friday - the first time a company has been successfully prosecuted in Australia for desecration of a sacred site.

The site is known as Two Women Sitting Down and is at Bootu Creek, north of Tennant Creek.

OM Manganese was fined A$150,000 ($134,000; £88,000).

Peter Toth, CEO of OM Holdings, which owns OM Manganese, said: "The company never intended to harm, damage or disrespect the sacred site."

"We sincerely regret the damage and the hurt caused and I unreservedly apologise to the site's custodians and traditional owners," he said.

'Dreaming story'
Two Women Sitting Down is associated with Australia's Kunapa people.

Map
OM Manganese was accused of causing the collapse of part of the site, including a distinctive rocky outcrop known as the Horse's Head, in July 2011.

Prosecutors told the Darwin Magistrates Court that the company performed explosive blasting close to the site to break up ground, Australian broadcaster ABC reported.

The company was permitted to mine in the area, but was advised to steer clear of sacred sites, and was warned in early 2011 that cracks were appearing in rocks at the Bootu Creek site, the broadcaster said.

Dr Ben Scambary, chief executive officer of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority, said that the site was of great significance to Australia's indigenous people.

"This site... relates to a dreaming story about a marsupial rat and a bandicoot who had a fight over bush tucker [native Australian bush food]," he said.

"As the creation ancestors fought, their blood spilled out, turning the rock a dark-red colour that is now associated with manganese."

Kunapa community representative Gina Smith said: "It will always remain a sacred site to us, but it has been ruined and we don't know what to do because this has never happened to the old people.

"It has been there for thousands of years as part of our culture and our story."

Indigenous Australians believe the land is the mother of creation, and is a living, breathing mass full of secrets and wisdom, the BBC's Phil Mercer in Sydney reports.
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AnalisOffline
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PostPosted: 02-08-2013 13:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

...
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KondoruOffline
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PostPosted: 02-08-2013 18:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

But everything is sacred to the natives, isn't it?

Including the idea that nothing should be permitted to change?

(don't these guys use manganese products these days too?)
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