This is believed to be the skull of a white (European) person, who should not have been where the skull was found. That's because, Australians generally want to believe that the first Europeans to live in Australia came after Captain Cook. That view, is likely to be a bit of jingoistic rubbish, but it serves the cause of white Nationalism.
The skull was found near Taree, NSW and has been dated to belong to a person born around 1650.
You can read the story in this Australian Geographic version of July 3, 2013. Web-refererence: http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/ancient-skull-could-rewrite-history.htm
The writer does point out. ...
|Dutch explorers made the earliest European landings in Cape York, in Australia's far north, and the country's west in the 1600s. These expeditions aren't believed to have reached the east coast.|
But, I suggest there were likely many more possibilities, and that the easy part of the story (if the testing stands up ) is to locate this person to the vicinity of Australia. The really difficult part would be to imagine this person's travel to get from northern Australia to the north coast of NSW.
Here's what I wrote for my university study group:
I do not think we should be surprised to find evidence of Europeans in Australia before the accepted time periods. Some humans have always been wanderers. ( The migrations of pre-history that led to the populating of the planet surely testify to that).
If the current opinion, that the found skull belonged to a person with European parents who was born circa 1650, stands up to later testing, we have to explain the persons presence on the North coast of NSW. I stated previously, that it should not surprise us. The reason for my statement is that we already know that Europeans were in the vicinity of Australia well before that date.
We know of three WA European shipwrecks before the mid sixteenth century.
Magellan had 'found' the Philippines by 1521, di Legazpi founded Cebu in 1565, de Neira's expedition sighted and named Santa Isabel Island in the Solomons in 1565.
Another access approach must be from the Indonesian archipelago. In 1803 , Matthew Flinders sighted a Makassan Trepang fleet in northern Australia. Some academic studies suggest these fleets started visiting Nthn Australia circa 1720, but an Indonesian scholar believes there is evidence for an earlier date of 1640. Accepting, for this discussion, the earlier date, its relatively easy to believe that Europeans from either the Philipinnes or the Indonesian island colonies could have been in northern Australia in the mid 17th C, although, if so they left no known traces.
We also know that some Europeans were accessing China during the Yuan dynasty, some seeming to have utilised the Arab-Indian-S.E.Asian-Chinese shipping networks.
And a SMH news item, in the issue of May 1, 1937 discusses traces of Spanish shipwrecks in the Torres straits.
Another perspective places Russians on the Pacific coast by 1639. The great littoral trade routes of East Asia could have allowed north-south access. So (to me) the easy part of what may be the story of the person behind the skull, is to land that person in proximity to the Australian mainland.
The really difficult story, and I stress 'really difficult,' is to imagine that person's journey to the vicinity of Taree, NSW. And, if one person could make that journey, there could have been others, unknown wanderers of the planet whose remains are lost forever.