According to the records, Australia was first discovered by Dutch explorers in the early 17th century. So how did 1,000-year-old copper coins from a former African sultanate end up on a remote Australian beach?
An Australian anthropologist, Ian McIntosh, is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, which began when five coins were found buried in sand by a soldier patrolling the Wessel Islands off the continent’s north coast in 1944, two years after Darwin was bombed by the Japanese.
Maurie Isenberg, who was manning a radar station on the uninhabited but strategically important islands, stored the coins in a tin, and on coming across them again in 1979, sent them to a museum.
They were identified as originating in the former sultanate of Kilwa, near present-day Tanzania, and dated to as far back as the 900s.
So far, so mysterious, for according to the history books the first outsider to set foot on Australian soil was a Dutchman, Willem Janszoon, who landed in present-day north Queensland in 1606 – more than 160 years before Captain James Cook arrived and claimed the continent for the British throne.
Dr McIntosh believes that the coins, which have apparently been gathering dust in the museum, could rewrite Australian history, indicating that the country was visited long before Europeans arrived.
Now a World Heritage ruin, Kilwa was once a flourishing trade port and in the 13th to 16th centuries had links to India. Its trade – in gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabian stoneware, Persian ceramics and Chinese porcelain – made it one of the most influential towns in East Africa.
To those of us who are well familiar with African history, this comes as no surprise.
Yes this is news (this is my first time hearing about these coins) but considering how far and wide Africans travelled at the time Europeans were still in the backwaters, it is not strange that they (at least their coins) reached Australia.
What I detest is this insistence on “discovery”, the indigenous people of Australia have been there for a while, neither Africans or Europeans (or people from the Middle East who have played roles in East African history) “discovered” Australia.
A magnificent person has scanned the entire Ferals Fantastic Funbook for our convenient online viewing. So amazing.
I, I own(ed) this.
INCOMING THEME TUNE EARWORM!
yeah i’m humming it right now
Majak Daw: the first Sudanese born professional AFL player. Just saw a poster for “Majak Happens.” Also he’s adorable.
I’m waiting for the racial vilification stuff at this level. You know it’ll happen (already happened at VFL level).
for part of the time when John Howard was Prime Minister my sister happened to be working for the Japanese government, and once she met the Japanese Minister for Agriculture at an official function where people had gotten a bit shitfaced
and he said “so… I met your Prime Minister…”
and she was like “yeah, he’s a nong, we’re really embarassed, sorry”
and he laughed and said “ok man one time he was busting our balls trying to get us to buy more Australian rice, which, whatever, we don’t need more Australian rice”
“so I pretended to speak English really badly”
“and patted my stomach and said ‘very sorry, Japanese have only small stomachs! we cannot eat so much rice!’”
“and he totally fell for it! man, what an idiot”
Fairy bread for a friends engagement party tmr. Love hearts, normal quarters and nutella quarters. I’m leaving the crusts on the quarters so people have something to hold on to when eating.
This year group is pretty image and weight obsessed so it’ll be interesting to see if it’ll all get eaten or not.
NUTELLA FAIRY BREAD IS GENIUS
you are a genius
From a review of a Chinese BBQ Place:
“Not great for vegan options - the Soya Chicken isn’t even made of soy!”
the noise i just made crying laughing
John Howard has always been proud to call himself a conservative. The problem I think is that he has confused this with preservative. He probably wishes good old Ming had dosed the country with formaldehyde when he had the chance. Because it all started going wrong in the late 1960s. Here is a man who lived at home until he was 32. You can imagine what he was like. Here were young Australians demonstrating against the Vietnam War, listening to the Doors, driving their tie-died kombi vans, and what was John Howard doing? He was at home with mum, wearing his shorts and long white socks, listening to Pat Boone albums and waiting for the Saturday night church dance.
Yes, it all started to go wrong back in the 1960s. Radical and sinister notions of equality for women, world peace and, dare I say it, citizenship rights for indigenous Australians. So what do we hear when we listen to John Winston Howard today? We hear the hatred and resentment in his voice—the sort of hatred and resentment we saw at the reconciliation conference last year—hatred and resentment from a man who was never part of the scene, who was not accepted, for whom a different life was too big a leap and who took refuge in a previous generation. You can see it in his instinctive hatred of any progression, and he sees it everywhere—policies of social inclusion, multiculturalism, women’s liberation, Aboriginal reconciliation. In all of them, he only ever sees the jump he was too weak to make decades ago. Now he wants the whole nation to stay back and keep him company.
Try an interesting little exercise some day. Punch `Howard’ and `multiculturalism’ into the Hansard database. You will find he has never mentioned the word. When you punch in `Howard’ and `multicultural’ you do get it nine times but each and every time he is referring to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs. This is the man we have leading the country—a man who is so instinctively petty and so bitterly obsessed that he could craft an entire parliamentary career without mentioning the word `multicultural ism’ and what that represents, because it is an idea he is opposed to. He is positively Orwellian in his pettiness. This is a smallness of mind, a meanness with breathtaking scope. I can just imagine his enormous pride at this aspect.
So steeped in conservative values and fear of what is new is John Winston Howard that, if he were born before the Wright brothers, he would have organised a campaign against air travel of any description on the grounds that it was new and potentially dangerous. He is an antique, a remnant of the past that should be put on display, but not in government and certainly not in a leadership position, for anachronisms belong in museums and historical texts, not in parliament. Australians deserve a courageous leader; they do not deserve the kind of leader that used to dob on them in the schoolyard. They do not deserve John Winston Howard and in time they will put him out to pasture. Roll on that day, come the federal election.
“A detainee from the Villawood Detention Centre has died after falling out of a hospital window in Sydney’s south-west.”
WTF!! Refugees need to stop being locked up in Australia! It’s totally criminal!
he jumped, what is with this headline
Also because it’s because I’ve been hiding under a rock that I haven’t been able to say anything but-
One of the major universities in my state (pfft why am I being so secretive about it, it’s UWA) comes out with this parody newspaper every year called PROSH. I get that a lot…
US-centrism is people in Australia following the US news cycle incessantly about violence in Boston, but having no awareness of violence in Bangalore, and simply being desensitised to violence in Baghdad.
If everyone could just direct their attention to this for a second
Suspended coffees - now at Loading Dock on Edmonstone St in South Brisbane #lovesouthbrisbane
That’s two places in Brisbane. The rest of the country needs to catch up now.
Where’s the other place? Must go there too!!
This is pretty awesome. Would love to see some of the coffee places in the Valley and CBD do this.
i still has some questions around suspended coffees but i like how they’re approaching this.
I went to this! I would like to tell you how I was introduced to DAAS and, incidentally, DAAS Kapital:
I was 13, and at my first ever slumber party at a friend’s house. Later in the evening, after we had eaten food and told ghost stories and watched Interview with the Vampire, we put another VHS in and I fell asleep. I woke up to find Richard, Paul and Tim on the screen. Tim (or Paul, I can’t remember) was descended from a cockroach, and was slowly turning in to one; Paul (or Tim) was descended from a cockroach killer. There were giant playing cards, the size of a head. They were in a submarine in space. I fell back asleep. When I woke up, the screen was blue; we had hit the end of the tape.
They are problematic and I have questions, but I have loved them from that first hallucinatory moment, and ever since. Though they (and I) are much older now, and it was not quite what I was expecting, I am still glad that I got to see what is almost certainly their last ever show.
I still quote them even now, and I probably always will. Some things I still say: “My dance my way Fran” “Well it is freal ran” “Insert tab a into tab b for your really scary gorilla mask” and “Billy I don’t want to make love to you if you’re an armless headless corpse”. Okay maybe I don’t say that last one but it’s my favourite.