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who discovered australia?page 239

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384933.  Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:08 am Reply with quote

not william dampier in 1697. Was willem janszoon in 1606. Febuary 26th 1606 made landfall at the pennefather riveron the western shore of cape york near the modern town of weipa. He called the land he discovered 'niew zelandt'

384945.  Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:25 am Reply with quote

You are correct ntbloke, well spotted!

The received wisdom is indeed that Willem Janszoon was the first European to visit Australia, while there are Chinese claims that one Zheng He was there earlier still (discussion starting from post 225240 refers).

I'm pleased to say that QI corrected itself on this one - there's a question about the first European to visit Australia on Strictly come duncing, which names Janszoon as it.

He did indeed want to call Australia New Zealand, while the first European to visit New Zealand (Abel Tasman, who seems to have been a distant relative of Janszoon's) wanted to call that land Staten Island.

[Note to mods - this should be moved to FoGI]

385025.  Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:50 am Reply with quote

Consider it done.

398633.  Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:32 pm Reply with quote

IMHO, Australia was never really "discovered". The Aborigines have been here for 50,000 and possibly 70,000 years. I agree with suze's wording that Willem Janszoon was the first European to visit Australia. Aborigines feel a great responsibility for the land of Australia and consider themselves custodians, and I think many Australians prefer to say what suze has said, that Europeans settled in Australia or visited Australia at that time.

398634.  Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:12 am Reply with quote

reddygirl wrote:
IMHO, Australia was never really "discovered". The Aborigines have been here for 50,000 and possibly 70,000 years.

So doesn't that make the Aborigines the discoverers, just 50,000 years earlier than is generally taught?

Isn't it a case though that the latest theory has us all as Africans if you look far enough "back" (religion not withstanding [earth is only a few thousand years old etc])?

398696.  Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:53 am Reply with quote

For sure, it's generally accepted that the human race began in east Africa and migrated from there; DNA analyses tentatively place the beginning of those migrations at about 200,000 years ago.

So from one point of view, soup's suggestion that all humans are of African descent is entirely valid. Sadly, anthropologists tend not to consider this approach especially useful!

Because none of the aboriginal people of Australia had writing until the nineteenth century, there's really very little known of the history of Australia before Western colonization. It is presumed that the first people to settle Australia arrived there from south east Asia via Indonesia and New Guinea, but there's absolutely no proof of this. Neither is there any proof that the first people to arrive there are the ancestors of the Australian aborigines; it's entirely possible that those first settlers died out and that the aborigines descend from later settlers.

Tatar Lover
398715.  Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:23 am Reply with quote

Sorry for off topic direction, but did anyone know that Australia's Aborigines were considered part of the Flora and Fauna until 1967 and thus weren't eligible to vote?

398754.  Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:20 am Reply with quote

Suze is correct. I'm going to see if there's any recent DNA research into Aboriginal origins as well.

Tatar Lover is also sadly right. Aborigines have received some dreadful treatment, again, I'll be happy to look into that also. If you can, watch a movie called "Rabbit Proof Fence". Although there is some artistic licence being taken, it's a very powerful movie.


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