Skip to comments.Flinders finds clues to early Dutch postal system
Posted on 05/19/2012 3:40:11 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Ancient maritime inscriptions dating back to the early 1600s have been found on the coast of Madagascar by Flinders University researchers.
The team of researchers, including Flinders archaeology research associate Mark Polzer and Jane Fyfe, a PhD candidate and rock art specialist from the University of Western Australia, discovered the messages carved into rock outcrops and boulders on an island in the Bay of Antongil, on the northeast corner of Madagascar.
While some of the inscriptions were originally found in the 1920s, researchers have always believed there were no more than a dozen "postal stones".
Dr. van Duivenvoorde said the inscriptions, which were carved into the rocks between 1601 and 1657, offered important insights into early Dutch seafaring to the Indies, and were a unique example of Dutch cultural heritage overseas...
Dr. van Duivenvoorde said the messages -- left by at least 13 different ships -- included official communications that recorded the names of ships and the times and dates of their arrivals, as well as unofficial messages left by higher-ranked seamen, who chiselled their names into the stone...
While the team is still in the process of transcribing and studying the inscriptions, Dr. van Duivenvoorde said she hoped to return to Madagascar in 2013 to create a 3D rendering and to lobby relevant authorities for cultural heritage protection.
"It's definitely under threat from sea erosion, cyclones and rain, as well as from jungle vegetation and moss growing on the rocks which have faded the inscriptions over time.
"I'm also hoping our discovery will reinvigorate interest in the stones and lead to better education for local tourist guides -- these inscriptions have been forgotten for decades and even specialists who study postal stones from this period do not mention them in their books."
(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...
Dr. Wendy van Duivenvoorde (pictured), a lecturer in maritime archaeology, returned from the world's fourth largest island last month with evidence of more than 40 inscriptions from Dutch sailing ships that once traversed the region en-route to South East Asia.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Wooden shoes like to know more about this?
"Oh them dootly Dutch!"
"Well, to tell the family secret, my grandmother was Dutch."
Now that I have had my fun, I have to admit this is really interesting.
It sounds more to me like a message board than a post office...
Who has the Post Horn graphic? “The Crying of Lot 49.”
I wondered why the Dutch would do this when they could easily exchange information with the authorities in Cape Town. Then I looked it up. Cape Town wasn’t settled until 1652.
Cape Town sounds like it has archaic fashion choices. ;’)
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