Being on the periphery of the world's neolithic, bronze and iron age history - and despite it's very rich paleolithic past - Australia seems to generate a lot of wild theories and wishful thinking about such-and-such pile of rocks being a lost Egyptian pyramid. Put to the test these stories never usually stack up. They might be in places where lots of Australians live now, but are so far from any shipping-route an ancient mariner might have been taking they can be immediately refuted. Once again, it pays to consider the economic reasoning a classical-era seafarer might have made to continue searching along a desolate, and uninviting Australian coastline when they left the Spice Islands...even Sinbad would have given up eventually...and it's at some approximate point down the Cape York Peninsular in the east and the Pilbara in the west we can more or less dismiss any 'logical' chance of early European or Asian exploration continuing southwards.
|Australia in 1583, that's the |
Kimberley coast on the left
Still, Egyptians? Puleeeeeaaaase. Well, not so fast. Egyptians were making the ocean voyage to India as early as 1400BC. By 1000BC they dominated the eastern trade route. And as my source isn't an expert - if those tomb paintings are the real deal, they could date anywhere from the New Kingdom to the Ptolemaic period. That gives us a potential 1300-year window for at least one expedition east of India, and given these were tomb paintings, I suppose the expedition wasn't a success. So, if the Egyptians possibly made it to the Kimberley coast...who else might have?
A-ha, you say, I've just Googled and I can't find anything about these paintings. Yeah, don't worry I Googled too. What I can tell you, at least one Australian University was sent photographs and video footage of the cave, but to my knowledge nothing more was done. The area is culturally sensitive to First Australians and it's very remote - but most likely some history academic did the same thing I did when I was told the story. Egyptians in Australia? Puleeeeeaaaaase.
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