African coins found in Australia date back 1,000 years and may change Australian history. The five copper coins were discovered in the Northern Territory in 1944.
The coins were found by Maurie Isenberg, an Australian soldier, during World War II. Isenberg was stationed on one of Australia’s Wessel Islands. He reportedly found the copper coins on a beach.
As reported by Australia Times, Isenberg put the coins inside a box and took them home when he left the island. The coins were stored away for 35 years.
In 1979, Isenberg decided to have the coins assessed by a museum. He then learned that the coins were 1,ooo years old. Isenberg still had an old map from the island. He marked the location where he originally found the coins, and stored them away again.
Australian Anthropologist, Ian Mcintosh, gained an interest in the ancient coins earlier this year. He intends to explore why 1000-year-old African coins were found in Australia.
McIntosh, who is currently Professor of Anthropology, at Indiana University, has planned an expedition to the island where the coins were found. Utilizing Isenberg’s map, McIntosh hopes to unlock some of the mysteries surrounding their origin.
As reported by Newser, the coins were possibly among the first coins produced on an island off Tanzania. Their dates have been confirmed to a period “between 900 and 1300 AD.”
While on the island, McIntosh will comb the beach where McIntosh found the coins. Additionally, he and his colleagues will search for a cave which, according to legend, is filled with treasure.
The first recorded discovery of Australia was by Willem Janszoon, a Dutch explorer, in 1606. In 1770, the land was declared claimed for the British throne by Captain James Cook. The five copper coins may point to a much earlier discovery.
The African coins found in Australia, may prove that Australia was part of a 1,000-year-old trade route that included ” East Africa, Arabia, India and the Spice Islands.”
Of course, the coins could have originated from numerous other sources, including washing ashore from shipwreck. Like many historical mysteries, any explanation may prove difficult to confirm.
Their actual origin may be impossible to prove. However, the discovery of African coins in Australia, dating back 1,000 years, is exciting for those interested in anthropology.
[Image via Wikimedia]