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Europeans may have discovered Australia earlier than previously believed


Photo from FOX News

Scientists who examined a newly found Caucasian skull in Australia say there is an 80% chance it pre-dates Captain Cook.

From Fox News…

The centuries-old skull of a white man found in Australia is raising questions about whether Captain James Cook really was the first European to land on the country’s east coast.

The skull was found in northern New South Wales in late 2011, and police initially prepared themselves for a gruesome murder investigation.

But scientific testing revealed that not only was it much older than expected, but possibly belonged to a white man born around 1650, well before Englishman Cook reached the eastern seaboard on the Endeavour in 1770.

“The DNA determined the skull was a male,” Detective Sergeant John Williamson told The Daily Telegraph.

“And the anthropologist report states the skull is that of a Caucasoid aged anywhere from 28 to 65.”

Australian National University expert Stewart Fallon, who carbon-dated the skull, pulling some collagen from the bone as well as the enamel on a tooth, said he was at first shocked at the age of the relic.

“We didn’t know how old this one was, we assumed at first that it was going to be a very young sample,” he told AFP.

“When we first did it we weren’t really thinking about people coming to Australia and things like until we started to look at the dates and say, ‘Oh, that’s becoming intriguing’.”

He said the test used was quite accurate for dates after 1950 but for earlier samples it was more difficult, and the two samples yielded different dates — though both were within the error range.

“Using them (the dates) together we can do some modelling as to what we expect the calendar age to be … and the way it works out by using those two dates is that we get about an 80 percent probability that the person was born somewhere around the 1650s and died somewhere between 1660 and 1700,” Fallon said.