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Darwin Beach Find: Clue to Australian History?

The Northern Territory has a rich history, which makes property in Darwin the perfect place to live if you have an interest in the past. A new development in the area indicates Australia may have been discovered long before Captain Cook landed in 1770.

In 2010 a Darwin boy found a gun at Dundee Beach during low tide. Dating tests suggest this item had been sitting in the beach for the past 250 years.

The 107cm-long cannon was described as being one of the most important discoveries made in northern Australia by Tim Stone, an Australian geomorphologist and member of the Past Masters, a team that explores historic mysteries.

When this was first reported, it was believed this gun might once have belonged to 16th century Portuguese seafarers.

Now that further testing has been done, scientists from Past Masters think the gun may have come from Macassan or other Indonesian sailors.

Macassan trepang (sea cucumber trade) was big around 1760, which is the approximate date the gun was made, so one theory is that an Indonesian vessel may have blown off course and onto the beach near Darwin.

There is further testing at the moment both in Australia and North American to see if they can find the source of the bronze that was used to make the gun.

This Darwin find means Australia could potentially rewrite its history books. Prior to this development, it was believed that Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon was the first European to land Down Under in 1606.

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