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1000-year-old coins found in Australia

Posted on Monday, 20 May, 2013 | Comment icon 71 comments | News tip by: Silver Surfer

Image credit: CC 3.0 Gabriele Delhey

The discovery of ancient coins on an uninhabited Australian island could soon rewrite the history books.

Australian soldier Maurie Isenberg first came across the coins while stationed on one of the Wessel Islands during World War II. Having kept them for years in a tin for safe keeping, Maurie eventually got around to sending them to a museum to see if more could be learned of their origins. Incredibly, the coins turned out to be more than 1,000 years old, placing them centuries before Australia's discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606.

The finding of the coins was more or less forgotten until a few months ago when Australian scientist Ian McIntosh picked up the trail. Armed with five of the coins and a map left by Maurie showing where they had originally been found, McIntosh is planning an expedition to the island in an effort to locate more of them and to find any clues that might help to explain how they got there.

"The scientist wants to revisit the location where five coins were found in the Northern Territory in 1944 that have proven to be 1000 years old, opening up the possibility that seafarers from distant countries might have landed in Australia much earlier than what was currently believed."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #62 Posted by DKO on 22 May, 2013, 16:07
There are in infamous Gosford Glyphs. When they were discovered people jumped to the conclusion that Ancient Egyptians visited Australia. Article with an Egyptologist debunking the whole thing:
Comment icon #63 Posted by jaylemurph on 22 May, 2013, 17:13
Man, those even /look/ like fakes. I could do a better job and I don't read/understand hieroglyphics. --Jaylemurph
Comment icon #64 Posted by third_eye on 22 May, 2013, 17:48
Makes one does wonder about how the Ancient Egyptians did their temple hieroglyphics so well on harder rocks with just the tools available to them too doesn't it ?
Comment icon #65 Posted by Sum1uallno on 30 May, 2013, 10:11
I agree... Are you able to specify a certain type of person who does this?
Comment icon #66 Posted by Sum1uallno on 30 May, 2013, 10:12
I believe they are much older.
Comment icon #67 Posted by Sum1uallno on 30 May, 2013, 10:25
if you would like to laugh... for a serious interest.
Comment icon #68 Posted by Sum1uallno on 30 May, 2013, 10:27
Comment icon #69 Posted by Codenwarra on 12 June, 2013, 1:18
There isn't any mystery about this really. The Dutch were pottering about the coast of northern Australia in 1606. On the subject of the Gulf of Carpentaria Wikipedia has this to say: "The first known to visit the region was the Dutch (whose name is also written as Jansz) in . His fellow countryman, (or Carstensz), visited in 1623 and named the gulf in honour of , at that time the . also explored the coast in 1644. The region was later explored and charted by in 1802 and 1803." Now for those who sneer at Wikipedia, every Australian school child was taught about t... [More]
Comment icon #70 Posted by Harte on 14 June, 2013, 3:24
Welcome to the forum, Codenwarra. I was wondering if anyone would mention that Cook didn't "discover" the place. IIRC, Cook navigated there based on maps already in his possession. Harte
Comment icon #71 Posted by DKO on 14 June, 2013, 11:47
The Dutch had landed on Australian shores a few times. Here's one of their earlier maps.

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