A new inquiry into how several ancient coins came to be found on the continent of Australia could offer new insights into the migrations patterns of early humans.
Reports indicate that researchers from Indiana University are readying an investigative expedition which is aiming to explain how five ancient copper coins that are believed to be roughly 1,000 years old and originally from Africa came to be found in Australia.
History books state that Australia was first put on official maps after it was first landed by Dutch explorers in 1606. Then in 1770, Captain Cook took control of the island and declared it the property of the British crown.
The coins, which were thought to be more 1,000 years old, are leading researchers to believe that other humans were on the island of Australia several hundred years before Dutch explorers.
The coins were thought to have been first discovered in 1944 on the Wessel Islands, just off Australia's north coast and it is thought that the coins originated from a former African sultanate, which is believed to have been located close to modern-day Tanzania.
The coins were reportedly found by a soldier who happened to be stationed on the uninhabited islands during World War II. The soldier later revealed to scientists that it was a chance encounter that he came across the coins.
The researchers from Indiana University could succeed in proving that the island of Australia was inhabited by other humans centuries before what is currently believed. It would produce a rethinking of the region's history over the past 1,000 years.
The specialists plan on exploring the area where the soldier found these five copper coins during the expedition that is scheduled to take place this summer.