Monsoon traders lost on the Northern Australian coast – historical evidence for their existence

Dublin Core

Title

Monsoon traders lost on the Northern Australian coast – historical evidence for their existence

Subject

Session 4
The archaeological study of ships’ cargo, hull, and maritime infrastructure

Description

During the pre-colonial and early colonial period of Australia’s history c.1780–1907, monsoon traders from the eastern part of Indonesia sailed to parts of Australia’s northern coast searching for marine products such as trepang for the Chinese market place. During this period, most of these small ships left the port of Makassar in Sulawesi, one of the larger Sunda Islands of the Indonesia archipelago, with the onset of the west monsoon and returned with their cargo on the south easterly winds of the east monsoon. Despite historical evidence that some vessels were wrecked and lost on the northern Australian coast, no tangible archaeological evidence of their existence has been found and identified to date. This paper summarises the historical evidence for the loss of a number of these vessels and provides some evidence of what some of these vessels may have looked like. In conclusion it explores the possibility of finding the remains of one of these wrecks in the future.

Creator

Paul Clark

Date

November 2011

Files

Citation

Paul Clark, “Monsoon traders lost on the Northern Australian coast – historical evidence for their existence,” The MUA Collection, accessed December 13, 2017, http://www.themua.org/collections/items/show/1191.

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