A 10-day expedition has set out from Cairns to find two shipwrecks from the 1800s off the far north Queensland coast.
A team led by the National Maritime Museum is searching for the Morning Star, lost near Quoin Island in 1814, and the Frederick, lost near Stanley Island in 1818.
Manager of maritime archaeology Kieran Hosty says there is great interest in the wrecks, with a number of failed search attempts in the past.
"Both of those are mysteries of the sea really," he said.
"The Frederick, most of the crew was lost, 21 people died in the wreck of the Frederick, and the survivors’ accounts are a bit obscure. Read more.
A major new fossil site has been discovered by UNSW scientists beyond the boundaries of the famous Riversleigh World Heritage area in north-western Queensland.
Dubbed “New Riversleigh”, initial indications are that it represents a different time period and poorly-known stage in the evolution of Australia’s unique biota. The prehistoric bone-bed contains the remains of a wide range of previously unknown marsupials and bats.
It was found about 15 kilometres south-west of the western limit of the Riversleigh World Heritage site, which is about 250 km north-west of Mount Isa, and which Sir David Attenborough has already described as one of the four most important fossil sites in the world. Read more.
Australian archaeologists are embarking on a study of one of the earliest ever records of a key transformation in human history: the end of the nomadic lifestyle.
The team, headed by Dr Andrew Fairbairn from the University of Queensland, will join with a British team next week to continue work on the excavation of a 10,000-year-old early village site in central Turkey.
The site, known as Boncuklu Höyük, is one of the earliest village sites found from the period when hunter-gatherer societies began to leave their nomadic lifestyle and take up farming.
Villagers lived in oval-shaped, mud brick houses and hunted, farmed and traded with other local communities on an area of wetlands which is now a dusty plain near the city of Konya.
"It’s come to be one of the key transformations in human history because, basically, the development of our civilisations is routed in a lot of these social and economic transformations that happened around about this time," Dr Fairbairn told ABC News Online. Read more.
Missing fragments from the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead have been uncovered deep in the stores of the Queensland Museum.
The manuscript belonged to a high-ranking Egyptian official who lived in 1420 BC.
It was believed to contain magical spells to guide the dead to the afterlife.
Parts of the manuscript were discovered in the late 19th Century, but archaeologists have never found it all.
World-renowned Egyptologist Dr John Taylor was viewing the museum’s Egyptian collection when a name on a papyrus fragment caught his eye.
Dr Taylor is the curator of the British Museum’s mummy collection. The British Museum currently has a mummy exhibition on display at the Queensland Museum. Read more.
THE Royal Charlotte brought convicts to Australia, carried troops to India and served as a warning beacon to other vessels, and scientists now want her to help them understand trade between fledging colonies in the early 19th Century.
The only problem is she’s been under water for more than 180 years.
The Indian built ship ran aground in the Frederick Reef, off the Queensland coast, on June 11, 1825, resulting in two deaths.
A party was sent to Moreton Bay, while the rest of the ship’s 100 passengers - soldiers and their families - scraped their way to a sandy coral quay, where military discipline and ingenuity ensured their survival for six weeks, after which help finally came.
It’s a remarkable story which an expedition is trying to complete as they search for the Royal Charlotte’s remains.
The two-week expedition, led by Australian National Maritime Museum marine archaeologist Kieran Hosty, will depart Gladstone tomorrow. Read more.
LONDON.- Bonhams to auction one of the only known 14th century instruments, an exceedingly rare equal hour horary quadrant marked with the badge of King Richard II, at its Fine Clocks and Scientific Instrument Sale on 13 December 2011. Dated 1396, this extraordinary British time-telling mathematical instrument, which has come to light following its discovery in a shed in Queensland, Australia, has attracted a pre-sale estimate of £150,000 – 200,000. It is the second earliest dated British scientific instrument in existence, the earliest being the Chaucer astrolabe, dated 1326, housed in the British Museum. Read more.
A SHIPWRECK exposed when Cyclone Yasi hit north Queensland has been identified as the brigantine Belle, lost in 1880.
Months of detective work has confirmed the identify of the two-masted vessel, uncovered in Ramsay Bay, near Cardwell, after the monster cyclone hit in February.
The Belle was trying to recover cedar timber washed ashore from another wrecked vessel, the Merchant, when it sank.
"The identification is based on a match of records with the physical evidence - we are dealing with incomplete records and an incomplete wreck, so identification is based on probability," Environment Minister Vicky Darling said in a statement.
"But experts are satisfied that the Belle is the only likely contender out of the five vessels which are known to have been lost at Ramsay Bay." Read more.