Australia dig unearths Batavia mutiny skeleton

“Australia dig unearths Batavia mutiny skeleton”

via “BBC News Australia

The excavated skeleton

The skeleton of a victim from one of Australia’s most famous shipwrecks has been unearthed by archaeologists.

The remains on Beacon Island, off Western Australia, date from the wreck of the Dutch East India ship the Batavia in 1629.

In the aftermath of the disaster, more than 100 survivors were murdered by a group of mutineers.

Maritime experts hope the latest find will shed new light on the episode.

The wreck site was first discovered in 1963 and a mass grave was found in 1999.

But Dr Daniel Franklin, of The University of Western Australia Centre for Forensic Science, said this was the first skeleton to be found undisturbed on Beacon Island through archaeological investigations.

He said it “represents a unique opportunity to reconstruct events surrounding this individual’s death and internment”.

Experts excavating the skeleton
The Batavia story is well-known across Australia

Jeremy Green, head of maritime archaeology at the Western Australian Museum, said they hoped to learn more about about the life of sailors on board Dutch East India Company ships.

“It is as much about knowing where the people came from, what their diet was, as well as how they died,” he said.

The skeleton is of an adolescent and two musket balls were reported to have been found nearby.

The Batavia had sailed from the Netherlands to the Dutch East Indies but veered off course and was shipwrecked in the Abrolhos Islands. . . . .


“Fantasy Meets Technology in Ocean Resorts’ Underwater Art Show”

“Fantasy Meets Technology in Ocean Resorts’ Underwater Art Show”

By Bekah Wright via Yahoo! News

Where does one go to see an art exhibition in the Maldives? Under the sea, of course — the Indian Ocean, to be exact. Two of the island nation’s luxury resorts will be showcasing underwater works from photo artist Andreas Franke’s “Phantasy Fairytale” through May. 

The sites, Huvafen Fushi and Niyama, are sister properties in the posh Per Aquum collection, where rooms start at about $600 a night. Rather than in some stuffy gallery, the “Phantasy Fairytale” showings are in Subsix, Niyama’s underwater music club, and Huvafen Fushi’s Lime spa, also below sea level. 

Two photo shoots were necessary to create each fantasy-themed piece, one using an underwater backdrop and the other taken in a studio with real-life models. The superimposed images are encased in Plexiglas and stainless-steel frames, and divers put each piece — priced from $15,000 to $12,000 — in place per Franke’s specifications. 

What will visitors see in the “Phantasy Fairytale” galleries? Some familiar faces are captured in a combination of photography, nautical exploration and digital mastery: fairytale characters such as Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Star Money, The Snow Queen and The Last Unicorn. The two spaces have four identical Franke images, with the exception of The Snow Queen, only at Niyama, and The Last Unicorn at Huvafen Fushi.

Franke, an award-winning Austria-based photo artist and avid scuba diver, has said of the series: “With my photographs, I want to pull the spectators into unreal and strange worlds. Mystified scenes of a fairytale play within a fictional space. Dream worlds you can get lost in, or that you can identify with. This creates a new and unexpected atmosphere. This work shows very much of myself, since I am always on the lookout for stunning themes to create new images that have never been seen before.”

Adding to the story each image tells: salt and algae that collect on the frames, along with the ever-changing world of marine life around them. “The underwater scenery is beautiful, coral reefs surround both Subsix and Lime Spa. You can see all sorts of coral from finger coral to brain coral, hard coral and soft coral,” Stacey Dean, Per Aquum’s director of marketing and communications, told Yahoo Travel in an email. “There are also many fish that live in the coral reef such as parrotfish and clown fish. We even have the odd turtle, stingray and reef shark that swim past.” . . . . . .

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