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Early copper coins from an African trading empire found in Australia

The history of people finding Australia goes a little something like this: Aboriginal Australians separated from a migration out of Africa into Asia about 70,000 years, and Australian archaeological sites have proof of humans going back 50,000 years. Jump ahead to 1606, when there were two European voyages that made landfall and charted portions of Australia. First was Willem Janszoon's voyage in late February or early March of that year, and then Luís Vaz de Torres came a few months later. Abel Jansen Tasman was the first European to come across Tasmania, and between 1642 and 1646, his crew charted the Australian coast, more or less (Google auto-translation, original page). Then of course, there was James Cook's 1770 voyage. With all these dates in mind, how did five copper coins from an African sultanate that collapsed in the early 1500s (Google books) end up on an uninhabited island in the Northern Territory of present-day Australia? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 28, 2013 - 84 comments

ConnnectionsFilter

In August 1781, the case of Brom and Bett vs. Ashley went to the jury. The year before, Mum Bett, a slave in the Ashley house since 1742, was struck by her mistress. Mum Bett left the house and refused to return. Bett had overheard conversations about the new Massachusetts constitution that included the clause, "All men are created equal" and argued that the clause applied to her. When the jury agreed, slavery was effectively abolished in the state of Massachusetts. Mum Bett took the name of Elizabeth Freeman and went to work in the employ of her lawyer. (More inside)
posted by forrest on Aug 10, 2007 - 34 comments

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