The Secret Visitors Project blog is about Australia’s human past and how our understanding of it has developed in the past two centuries. It particularly looks at the belief that the Dutch and Cook were not the first major maritime powers to encounter Australia, and why this belief persists without any evidence to sustain it and, secondly, chronicles some of the early history of archaeology and exploration of the past before the development of professional archaeological. I am doing this work for a PhD thesis in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney.
The research has brought up a lot of interesting and sometimes even useful information about the early history of Australian archaeology, biographies of key individuals, strange concepts and challenging evidence. It has also highlighted that we as a profession need to take responsibility for responding to claims about the past that have no basis. As a result you will find in here some detailed analyses of sites and artefacts put forward as evidence for secret visitors to Australia. Dismissing these claims and ignoring them has just seen them spread further, and we need to show how as professionals we can deal with them objectively but critically.
In this blog I want to tell the story of some of these, the people who have them and the evidence they put forward. It will be a chance to try out some ideas, capture odd observations on the topic and generally jolly along the process of getting the thesis done. I’m happy to get feedback on anything I post and share information as much as possible.