Archaeological evidence reveals existence of the real Robinson CrusoeOctober 30th, 2008 - 1:19 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Oct 30 (ANI): New archaeological evidence has emerged that points to the existence of a sailor on a small tropical island in the Pacific in 1704, who is believed to have the inspiration behind Robinson Crusoe, author Daniel Defoes famous fictional character.
Alexander Selkirk, the sailor, was marooned on the island of Aguas Buenas (now renamed Robinson Crusoe Island), in 1704, and survived there for more than four years.
According to a report in Science Daily, archaeological evidence, in the form of a campsite of an early European occupant, has now been found to support contemporary records of the sailors existence on the island.
The most compelling evidence is the discovery of a pair of navigational dividers, which could only have belonged to a ships master or navigator, as evidence suggests Selkirk must have been.
The evidence is some practical pieces and mathematical instruments, some of the few possessions that Selkirk had taken with him from the ship, which were found by his rescuer, Captain Woodes Rogers.
The finds also provide an insight into exactly how Selkirk might have lived on the island.
Postholes suggest that he built two shelters near to a freshwater stream, and had access to a viewpoint over the harbour from where he would be able to watch for approaching ships and ascertain whether they were friend or foe.
Accounts written shortly after his rescue describe him shooting goats with a gun rescued from the ship, and eventually learning to outrun them, eating their meat and using their skins as clothing.
He also passed time reading the Bible and singing psalms, and seems to have enjoyed a more peaceful and devout existence than at any other time in his life.
According to David H Caldwell, from National Museums Scotland, The evidence uncovered at Aguas Buenas corroborates the stories of Alexander Selkirks stay on the island and provides a fascinating insight into his existence there.
We hope that Aguas Buenas, with careful management, may be a site enjoyed by the increasing number of tourists searching for the inspiration behind Defoes masterpiece, he added.
Alexander Selkirk was born in the small seaside town of Lower Largo, Fife, Scotland in 1676. A younger son of a shoemaker, he was drawn to a life at sea from an early age.
In 1704, during a privateering voyage on the Cinque Ports, Selkirk fell out with the commander over the boats seaworthiness and he decided to remain behind on Robinson Crusoe Island where they had landed to overhaul the worm-infested vessel. (ANI)
- Scottish man with Robinson Crusoe author's name rescued from island - Jan 27, 2011
- Chile's Robinson Crusoe Island deluged - Feb 28, 2010
- Robinson Crusoes saviours 300-year-old journal discovered - Jan 06, 2009
- Irish archaeologists say Spanish Armada wreck found - Aug 06, 2011
- Obama signs disaster declaration for Puerto Rico in wake of Hurricane Irene - Aug 28, 2011
- Britain's 'earliest hospital' discovered in Hampshire - Oct 21, 2010
- Study on ancient Tel Aviv fortress sheds light on its past - Dec 29, 2010
- Kerala boat hit-and-run: Cargo ship sailor arrested - Mar 08, 2012
- 2,000-year-old shipwreck reveals ancient medical secrets - Jul 10, 2011
- Mexican navy's largest-ever ship launched - Sep 01, 2011
- Violin from Titanic band found - Jan 31, 2012
- 'Satnav' could pave man's way beyond solar system - Mar 29, 2012
- UK gives Chilean president 33 bottles of London ale for rescued miners - Oct 19, 2010
- 12-year-old girl warned Chilean islanders of tidal waves - Mar 02, 2010
- Indian Navy inducts second sail training ship - Jan 27, 2012
Tags: aguas buenas, alexander selkirk, archaeological evidence, author daniel, campsite, compelling evidence, contemporary records, dividers, fictional character, freshwater stream, mathematical instruments, national museums, occupant, oct 30, rescuer, robinson crusoe author, robinson crusoe island, singing psalms, tropical island, woodes rogers