Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Sunday, October 06, 2002

A shipwreck that could change history.

The discovery of an ancient wreck on Fraser Island yesterday threw doubt on whether Captain James Cook was the first European to land on the east coast of Australia. A Queensland-led team of archaeologists uncovered what they claimed was a 16th century shipwreck on the eastern shoreline of Fraser Island. The 30m wreck is believed to be Portuguese or Spanish.

Photographs of three cannons visible during low tide will be sent to international experts to verify their age. "Based on the shape of the cannon it looks like probably a 16th century shipwreck," team spokesman Greg Jefferys said. "We've found a whole row of deck cannon there, so it's convinced me that it's a significant military exploration ship rather than just a trading ship. We're 99.9 per cent sure that we've got something that will re-write the text books."

If the wreck is confirmed to be from the 16th century, it will prove Capt Cook was not the first European to land on the east coast of Australia. While Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch captains charted much of the northern and western coasts of Australia during the 16th and 17th centuries, it was Capt Cook who is credited with discovering the east coast in the 1770s.

< email | 10/06/2002 05:50:00 PM | link

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