1000-year-old coins could change Australian history

1000-year-old coins could change Australian history

The discovery of five coins and a nearly 70-year-old map may lead to a major change in the Australian history.

Ian McIntosh, professor of Anthropology at Indiana University in the USA, intends to visit again the place where these five coins were found in 1944, which appear to be about 1000 years old giving rise to think that Australia was populated much earlier than previously believed.

Already during WWII the Wessel Islands -a group of uninhabited islands off the north coast of Australia- became one of the strategic area. Maurie Isenberg, an Australian soldier, while spending his leisure time fishing on the beach found a handful of coins that he later put away in a tin. In 1979 this great treasure was rediscovered and giving it the value it deserved, it was sent to a museum for identification.

Still unaware of their great value, an X was marked on a map to later remember where they had been found, again falling into oblivion until McIntosh stopped before them to examine them.

There are still many unsolved questions, but what they are sure of is that James Cook was not the first sailor to set foot on these lands.

McIntosh and his team say that the five coins date between 900 and 1,300 years, of African origins and belonging to the ancient Kilwa sultanate. This place was an old port that maintained commercial links with India between the 13th and 16th centuries. Through exchanges of gold, silver, pearls and even perfumes, a trade flourished that made the city one of the most influential in East Africa.

When Isemberg found the copper coins he also found four coins originating from the Dutch East Isles Company. To answer many of the unknowns that experts are asking, McIntosh will make a new expedition to the islands in July.

I was born in Madrid on August 27, 1988 and since then I started a work of which there is no example. Fascinated by both numbers and letters and a lover of the unknown, that is why I am a future graduate in Economics and Journalism, interested in understanding life and the forces that have shaped it. Everything is easier, more useful and more exciting if, with a look at our past, we can improve our future and for that… History.


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