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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