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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 35, September 3, 2007, Article 15

COIN FIND COULD PROVE COOK WASN'T FIRST EXPLORER TO REACH AUSTRALIA

An article in The Telegraph reports that "An archeologist
claims to have found a 16th century European coin in a swamp
on Australia’s east coast, raising new questions about whether
Captain James Cook was beaten to the continent by the Spanish
or Portuguese.

"The silver coin, which is inscribed with the date 1597, was
discovered by a group led by amateur archeologist Greg Jefferys.

"It was buried a few inches below the ground in the middle of
snake-infested Eighteen Mile Swamp on North Stradbroke Island,
Queensland.

"If proved to be authentic it will lend weight to the theory
that Spanish or Portuguese navigators ‘discovered’ Australia’s
eastern seaboard centuries before Capt Cook claimed it for
Britain when he landed at Botany Bay in 1770.

"Mr Jefferys hopes the coin may lead him to the wreck of a 16th
or 17th century ship rumoured to be lying beneath the swamp —
the so-called ‘Stradbroke Galleon’.

"But other experts were skeptical. Andrew Viduka, a shipwreck
expert from the Museum of Tropical Queensland, said: 'It’s what
we call a loose find — it’s an object that could have been
put there by anyone at any time.'

"There’s no archeological context to it.

"'If it could be proven, it would be hugely exciting but at the
moment you can’t infer anything from it.' It has long been
accepted that Dutch navigators sailed up Australia’s west coast
in the 1600s, preceding Capt Cook on the eastern seaboard by
nearly 200 years."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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