1,000-year-old copper coins from Kilwa Sultanate, East Africa found in Australia
Five copper coins thought to have originated in the East African Kilwa Sultanate (modern Tanzania), which date back to the early 900s, were discovered on the Wessel Islands off the north coast of Australia in 1944.
The coins are causing excitement among historians because they suggest that other seafaring peoples had discovered Australia 600 years before Captain James Cook. Although aboriginal Australians are thought to have arrived in Australia by boat from the Malay Archipelago between 40,000 and 60,000 years ago, the mainstream text of history claims that the Dutch navigators and later the English sailor Captain Cook “discovered” Australia. The first European landing on Australia is credited to Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, who sighted the coast of Cape York Peninsula in early 1606 and landed on 26 February at the Pennefather River near Weipa on Cape York. A few years later, another Dutch navigator Dirk Hartog, reached the Island. William Dampier was the first English navigator to arrive in Australia, He landed on the north-west coast in 1688 and again in 1699. In 1770, James Cook explored the east coast which he named South Wales and claimed it for the English crown. Spaniard adventurer Luiz Vaez de Torres, discovered the strait between Papua New Guinea and Australia which was named Torres Strait in his honor. The British Government sent a fleet of ships under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip to establish a penal colony at Botany Bay in January 1788.
McIntosh points to where the copper coins were found on the map
The Kilwa Sultanate
However, the coins linked to the East African Kilwa Sultanate suggest that other seafaring peoples had discovered Australia at least six centuries before the first European sailors. But another theory suggests that the coins may have been washed ashore from a shipwreck. According to the Courier Mail, the site of the Kilwa Sultanate in Tanzania is a World Heritage ruin. Kilwa was a Medieval Sultanate whose territory covered the entire length of the East African Swahili Coast. It was a flourishing trade port with links to India from the 13th to the 16th century. Trade in gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabian stone ware, Persian ceramics and Chinese porcelain flourished along the East African coast until Kilwa was overthrown by the Portuguese in 1505, the Courier Mailreports. The sultanate produced the oldest known copper coins in sub-Saharan Africa.
Archaeologists have long believed there might have been a maritime link between East Africa, Arabia, India, the Spice Islands and China. According to McIntosh: “This trade route was already very active, a very long period of time ago, and this may evidence of that early exploration by peoples from East Africa, or from the Middle East.”
Expedition to Australia According to the IUPUI, Australian researcher Ian McIntosh, Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University, is planning an expedition to the place where the five coins were found in the Northern Territory in 1944. An Australian soldier Maurie Isenberg, found the coins in 1944 while manning a radar station at one of the Wessel Islands, a group of Islands off Australia’s north coast. He found the coins while sitting in the sand on the beach. Although he had no idea where the coins came from or how old they were, he kept them in a tin and forgot about them until in 1979 when he sent them to a museum for identification. Experts identified them as 1,000 years old and asked him to mark “X” on a map where he had found them. He also found four other coins which were confirmed to be Dutch East Indian company coins dating back to 1690. Curiously, the map and the coins were forgotten until McIntosh rediscovered them a few months ago and confirmed they were from the East African Kilwa Sultanate.
The questions McIntosh and a team of Australian and American historians, archaeologists and geomorpholosgists hope to answer when they investigate the site where the coins were found include: How did they get there? Were they brought to the island by non-European explorers or were they accidentally washed ashore from a shipwreck? What sort of contact, if any, existed between the explorers and local Aboriginal populations? The team will also be looking for a cave mentioned in Aboriginal legends. The cave, said to be close to the beach where Isenberg found the coins, may contain ancient artifacts. If the team is able to locate the cave, they may uncover a new wealth of knowledge about the history of Australia before the first Europeans arrived.
Meserani Snake Park is located in Tanzania, East Africa.
The snake park is located 25km west of Arusha on the route to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater.
Meserani Snake Park provides a free medical health clinic, with over a 1000 patients per month and rising. The clinic treats many medical emergencies, a common issue is treatment for infections and snakebites.
The clinic employs two-full time nurses. The clinic is open 24 /7, 365 days a year.
The owner operators of Meserani Snake Park Berry and Lynn Bale pay for all the salaries and medical supplies.
A physician assistant and a paramedic, both from Prineville, became friends with Wade Bale and learned about the Meserani Snake Park. They visited the facility two years’ ago and agreed with the Bales that a new clinic was needed to better serve the area, as the existing facility was much too small, not adequately supplied and too far away from the Snake Park itself. Upon returning to Central Oregon, these two, along with Wade Bale, his wife, Susan, and others who had also visited the Snake Park, formed Mbuyu Charities. The word comes from the local dialect, meaning “Baobab,” a tree that is plentiful in the area. This tree is often called “The Tree of Life,” and it is the goal of the organization to be able to provide hope and life to people living in the Meserani region.
Thanks to generous contributors, the Bales were presented with a $4,000 gift to begin construction of a new clinic. Since Berry Bale is also an engineer, plans were formulated and construction began quickly, using the Maasai as laborers. Nevertheless, this first influx of funds covers only about 1/3 of the total cost of construction.
The current clinic is now housing five orphans as well as caring for close to 50 patients a day. This is a project that needs to be finished, not only to provide for better and more centrally located medical care, but so that the old clinic can be transformed into an orphanage.
Mbuyu Charities sent a team of medical professional to Tanzania, please view the video.
The Tanzania trip was very successful, they treated over 1000 patients and one baby Elephant.
Through your support Meserani Snake Park has been able to move forward and provide the local people with a better quality of life.
Meserani Snake Park and Mbuyu Charities is greatly thankful.
Puff Adder Bite
Florian, he came here from Bukoba which is on Lake Tanganyika, about 800kms away. He had been bitten by a Puff Adder on the hand. The first picture shows the damage and his kidneys were failing. He came to visit us yesterday to bring us gifts for saving his life. The other picture is him now with Rarin, our nurse. Just great to see him doing so well with no side effects.
Fabulous job from everyone. Keep up the great work.
Tingatinga Art is primarily produced and sold in Tanzania. Although some artists are traveling and starting to take their art further a field.
It all started with a man called Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga, born in 1932 in a Namochelia village (which does not exist today). It was near Mindu and Nakapanya village, ca 70 km east of Tunduru town.
Eduardo Saidi Tingatinga was a self taught painter, with only 4 years of primary school education. He was just starting to receive recognition for his square board-paintings, when his life was cut short in 1972, he was mistaken for a fleeing thief and fatally shot by the police. Before he died he started to attracted young followers wanting to imitate his style. Today Tingatinga thrives. You will never see massed produced Tingatinga Art.
View Chidi Okoye Nigerian Artist amazing art collection.
Nigerian born, Chidi A. Okoye graduated with a distinction in sculpture (Higher National Diploma) from the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu, Nigeria, in 1988. For the next six years he taught sculpture and drawing at Federal Polytechnic Oko Anambra State Nigeria. During this period, he created an outstanding collection, not only sculpting, but painting and writing as well. In Nigeria, He had his national solo exhibition “Textures of Life” and launching of his book “Lamentation” at national museum Lagos in 1993 sponsored by Mobil Producing Nigeria. Okoye is as famous for his poetry as for his painting and sculpture.
In 1994 Okoye moved to Vancouver, Canada, where he immediately became involved in a number of projects promoting international artistic exchange and was a leading light in the local Black creative community. Okoye believes that his art offers him a chance of relating to his environment, complementing the beauty of nature with man-made forms and images, which spring from his ancestral culture. He combines the strength, uniqueness and dynamism of his heritage with a technically skilled understanding of the power of forms, feeling and materials to create works, which continue to thrill audiences.
The wide appeal of his works seems to lie in its identifiably African approach to colors and lines, but with an ability to turn his distinctive style to a wide rage of subjects. Okoye’s paintings and sculpture have been praised for their capacity to raise awareness of important social-political issues without resorting to militancy.
In 2001 Okoye went to Atlanta where he has been actively involved in the creative art community. He won the first prize, South Fulton County Gallery Best Artist of the year 2002. He has participated in the jury art shows of National Black Art Festival Atlanta from 2002 to 2004. He recently executed Award commission for 2004 Clark Atlanta University ADVANCE Leadership Award. Chidi collaborated with Nelson Mandela in Unity Series in 2004.