Cambridge University will return four Aboriginal spears taken to the United Kingdom after James Cook arrived in Australia in 1770, official sources announced today.
It is the only surviving legacy of the 40 spears looted by Cook and his crew in April 1770 from the camps of the Quegal people of the Kamai community known as the outskirts of Botany Bay to the southeast. According to a report by the National Museum of Australia, Sydney.
The four spears were donated to Trinity College, Cambridge University by Lord Sandwich in 1771, shortly after Cook and his crew arrived in England aboard the Endeavour, the museum added.
The artefacts, which will be delivered at a date to be determined in the coming months after a series of formalities have been resolved, are essential to understanding Australia’s modern history: “These are the first objects collected by a European in any part of Australia. They have been preserved and documented,” Nicholas Thomas, director of the Cambridge Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, was quoted as saying in the note.
In addition, “they represent the beginning of a history of disagreements and conflicts, so returning to the country will greatly strengthen its importance,” said the British expert.
The four spears were temporarily displayed at the National Museum in Canberra in 2015 and 2020 as part of two exhibitions on the relationship between Aboriginal people and settlers.
“These spears hold immeasurable value as powerful and tangible links between our ancestors and ourselves,” Aboriginal educator Shane Williams said in the statement, highlighting the benefits of long negotiations to reclaim Aboriginal heritage. People.
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