900-year-old African coins found in Australia

900-year-old African coins found in Australia

A series of coins over 900 years old from Africa, have mysteriously ended in Australia. It is the mysterious story about the journey of nine 12th century Kilwa coins, found in 1944 in the Wessels Islands, which suggests that Australians visited these northern territories.

Ian McIntosh, professor of anthropology at Indiana University claimed to have presence of art on stone in the islands that could provide clues to unravel the mystery.

The nine copper Kilwa coins They were found in the sand by Australian Air Force radar operator Maurie Isenberg during World War II. He tried to sell them in vain, so he forgot them for decades until he took them to a museum in 1979 to identify them. Along with these coins, he carried a map to indicate the location of the find, which could be due to the remains of a shipwreck.

European sailors are known to approached Australian shores in the 17th century, but that it was the British James Cook who arrived at the Botanical Bay of Sydney in 1770.

From the coins, of which five are African, and the rest Dutch come from the Kilwa sultanate in present-day Tanzania, McIntosh believes that certain sailors from the Middle East and Africa came to Australia, perhaps departing from Kilwa, passing through Oman, then they arrived in India as far as Australia. Another possible explanation is that an Indonesian survivor of a shipwreck inhabited the Wessels Islands, with which he was able to take the coins to the region. It is only a theory, acknowledges the professor.

Research carried out in July in the site where the coins were found They have not indicated the existence of more copies, so during the last two years researchers have speculated with various hypotheses to explain how the coins have arrived in Australia from Africa.

So far only the aboriginal stone art, evidence of several shipwrecks due to the coral reefs of the area. Through the collaboration of indigenous groups, the researchers will try to identify the boats represented in the pictorial manifestations. "Perhaps these coins were traded for several centuries ", speculates the professor full of mystery before this puzzle.

I am currently studying Journalism and Audiovisual Communication at the Rey Juan Carlos University, which has made me inclined towards the international section, including the study of languages. For this reason, I do not rule out dedicating myself to teaching. I also like to practice physical exercise and spend a pleasant time chatting with my acquaintances and with new people. Lastly, I enjoy traveling to know the authentic culture of each region of the world, although I admit that before I need to find out as much as possible about the place I'm going to visit, to fully enjoy the experience.


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