Was Australia Charted Before 1606?: The Java la Grande Inscriptions

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National Library of Australia, Jan 1, 2006 - Australia - 132 pages
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Dutchman Willem Janszoon?s arrival on the shores of Cape York in the Duyfken in 1606 is universally regarded as the first reliably documented non-Aboriginal arrival on Australia?s shores. Yet claims abound that the Portuguese, French, Spanish, Indonesians and, most recently, the Chinese were earlier visitors. Author William A.R. Richardson, Associate Professor at Flinders University, South Australia, examines the evidence for these claims and presents his own case. Much of the Portuguese claim rests on the evidence of a series of sixteenth-century French maps which show a charted landmass?Jave la Grande, south of Indonesia?which some have identified as Australia. Richardson devotes much of his book to considering this issue in detail, in particular the information that place-names can provide in identification. This book is illustrated throughout with charts and maps, some of which are beautifully embellished, showcasing the exquisite art and skill of the mapmakers of the day.

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