Shipwrecked whalers an insight into past (Australia)Breaking News
The camp, made in caves atop cliffs on Flinders Island, was fashioned more than 160 years ago and accessed this week for the first time by archeologists.
The whaling vessel Vulcan was shipwrecked near Bryant Bay on the island's south coast in April, 1845. All 18 aboard swam to safety and established their temporary homes above the shoreline.
Department for Environment and Heritage maritime archeologist Terry Arnott said former owners of the island told him about stone ruins in the area in 1998 and later that year he established there were habitable caves underneath them. He and historian Sarah Laurence, however, did not have the funding for another expedition until this year.
Mr Arnott said the caves became home to half the Vulcan's crew for up to four months, while nine crew members sailed in a canvas boat to Port Adelaide for a new vessel. ''The survivors were left behind for months before they were rescued and we can see by the structures that they had no idea how long they'd be here,'' he said.
So far 13 dwellings have been found, as well as a previously unrecorded spring which the survivors used for fresh water.
The caves are knee-deep in silt from exposure, so Mr Arnott has been unable to find any artefacts.
comments powered by Disqus
- The Anthropocene epoch: scientists declare dawn of human-influenced age
- ‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, and Was First Accused of Bias
- New Yorker profiles activist who's drawing attention to lynchings
- Wisconsin GOP senator wants to replace history professors with Ken Burns videos
- UT removes Confederate inscription that it previously said would stay
- NYT publishes historians' plea for the revival of political history
- Some Ohio University professors ditch the textbooks, and the prices
- Renowned Israeli Holocaust Historian: ‘If I Were a British Jew, I’d Be Worried’
- Heather Ann Thompson pries loose the long-kept secrets of Attica in her new book
- Lonnie Bunch remembers his first day on the job as director of the new black history museum