A team of Indiana University researchers are now readying themselves to launch an investigation aimed at explaining how it was that five copper coins believed to be roughly 1,000 years old ended up in Australia.
What sparked these scientists’ interest is the fact that, according to present day written history, Australia first made it on official maps when visited by Dutch explorers in 1606.
Later on, in 1770, Captain Cook took care of claiming the country for the British crown.
As Daily Mail points out, both these events occurred several centuries after these five coins had allegedly been forged.
Because of this, researchers have reasons to suspect that, since the coins date back to the 900s, Australia need have been visited by others before the Dutch explorers and Captain Cook even considered the possibility of paying it a visit.
The same source informs us that, all things considered, the coins originated from a former African sultanate (i.e. Kilwa) believed to have been located fairly close to modern-day Tanzania.
It appears that the coins were first discovered in 1944 on the Wessel Islands, just off Australia's north coast.
The man who found them was a soldier who happened to be stationed on these uninhabited islands during World War II.
The soldier later told scientists than the five coins were merely buried in the sand when he chanced to stumble upon them.
Should Professor Ian McIntosh and his Indiana University researchers succeed in proving that other peoples made it to Australia before European travelers did, the island’s history might need to be rewritten.
Thus, history books will have to mention the fact that, contrary to current beliefs, the country was first discovered roughly six centuries before Captain Cook set foot in these regions.
The specialists plan on exploring the area where the soldier found these five copper coins this coming July.
They hope that their visit to these lands will make it possible for them to collect more evidence and finally reach a conclusion concerning Australia's links with other civilizations.