Thursday, March 29, 2012

First In, Best Dressed (Supposedly!)

Most accept maori were not New Zealand's first inhabitants.
Ancient Egyptian Cook Strait ferry
But now, claims that the places of Captain Cook and Abel Tasman in our history books are just as dodgy. A new book reckons Spanish, Greeks and even Egyptians were first! To the End of the Earth, by researchers Maxwell Hill, Gary Cook and Noel Hilliam - retired curator of the Dargaville Maritime Museum - shows (supposedly) ancient maps pre-dating Christ, which they say detail the Oz and NZ coastlines.
They claim skeletons, rock carvings, stone buildings and monuments all prove Europeans lived here centuries before Polynesians. These artefacts include a rock carving of an ancient Greek ship found in Taupo, carvings on rocks at Raglan, and a stone pillar with an accurate coastal map of NZ showing Lake Taupo in its pre-232AD eruption shape (slight problem with that...Lake Taupo's nowhere near the coast!).
Hill also says the legendary maori explorer Maui was an actual Egyptian naval navigator, who steered a flotilla of Greek ships from the Red Sea under the flag of Ptolemy III in 232BC.
AUT professor Paul Moon says the authors lack credibility as none have any quals in history, archaeology, anthropology or related disciplines: "This is no evidence at all that people came to NZ at this time. On the contrary, Ptolemy's map shows a complete lack of geographical knowledge about the South Pacific."
But the authors claim British botanist David Bellamy is on their side and quote him as saying: "Max Hill has filled his steerage log with a collage of artefacts any museum would like to have in its keeping."
Tick - tick - tick - tick...
A rock carving, dubbed the Jesus Watch, was discovered on a Northland farm recently. The huge boulder weighing several tonnes, has deep cuts in it - claimed to be a huge Greek star calendar marked with figures.
Yeup, wearing my doubter's cap...but hey, who knows? We've all heard about the Spanish helmet found in Wellington Harbour that (supposedly) predates Tasman's arrival by about 60yrs; a (supposed) Tamil bell used by Whangarei maori as a cooking pot; the (supposed) extremely tall blonde passive people (supposedly) massacred by maori warriors; the (supposed) ancient Northland brick wall that maori (supposedly) don't want anyone to see; or the Ship Of Rongotute...and let's not forget Hilliam's claim to have discovered a WWII sub off the Kaipara that smuggled gold and Nazis to NZ...?
Do I hear a Tui Beer billboard coming on?

PS: For a lighthearted piss-take on this, check out Alf Grumble.

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