- CNTV English - CCTV News

Historical reexamination in Australia

08-01-2010 13:05 BJT

Historians are being forced to re-think the date when Australia's Aboriginal people first had contact with the outside world, thanks to some new rock art analysis. Archaeologists have carbon-dated a painting of an ancient boat, and now believe southeast Asian sailors were visiting Australia as early as the mid-17th Century.

This painting at a rock shelter in remote Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory could change the timeline of Australian history.

"First contact" is the name given to the moment when outside cultures first came across Australia's indigenous people, and this painting is thought to be the earliest representation of that point in time.

The boat shown is believed to be a perahu vessel which was popular in south-east Asia. The painting is being interpreted as an indication of when Aboriginal people first encountered outsiders.

The beeswax dots on the rock face have now been carbon-dated, giving a surprisingly early date of between 1624 and 1674, according to archaeologist Paul Tacon.

That's around a century earlier than when historians thought contact first took place.

Some archaeologists say the finding is an important historical development, but another archaeologist is not convinced.

In an effort to discover more about the period, researchers have also been excavating along the coast where Macassar fishermen from southeast Asia used to fish for trepang.

And some of the rock art is throwing up new mysteries.

Archaeologists believe the presence of a monkey in one of the paintings shows that Aboriginal people could even have been travelling to Asia, as monkeys are not found in Australia.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: CNTV.CN

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program