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Portuguese discover Australia?

John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd 2003

References: SOSE Alive 2, chapter 4 SOSE Alive History 1, chapter 8

h i s t o r y

www. j a c o n l i n e . c o m . a u / h i s t o r y

BULLETIN

The Portuguese used boats such as these,

called caravels, to explore many of the

worlds unchartered waters during the

fi fteenth and sixteenth centuries.

2003-07-01-port

SYDNEY, October 2002

Recent evidence seeming to support a European discovery of

Australia by the Portuguese, not Britains Captain James Cook, has

proved not to be so. Historian Greg Jeffreys now agrees that parts of

the wreckage found on a beach on Fraser Island, off the Queensland

coast, are not cannons from a seventeenth-century Portuguese ship,

as fi rst thought, but hoisting gear from a vessel that sailed our shores

some 200 years later. The identity of the relics became clear after they

were cleaned with high-pressure hoses. Discussion about who really

discovered Australia still persists, though. Some continue to suggest

that the wreck of the sixteenth-century Mahogany ship found in sand

hills near Warrnambool in Victoria is a Portuguese boat.

Those who believe the credit for our lands discovery should go to

the Portuguese point to the existence of the Dieppe maps (drawn

between 1536 and 1550), which may possibly depict Australia. Once,

it seems, some people, including the explorer Matthew Flinders,

did consider these maps were evidence of a Portuguese discovery.

The Portuguese had established a presence in Timor in 1516, and

Portuguese explorers such as Luis Vaz de Torres (who sailed through

the Torres Strait in the early seventeenth century) were active in

the region long before Cooks voyage. However, what Portuguese

records have been so far found from this time make no mention of

any discovery of a great south land. History still guards its secrets.

 

 



 

 

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