talks about Aboriginal Australians' first encounter with Captain Cook at Botany Bay, a violent meeting that has come to represent the origin story of Australia’s colonization by Europeans. The encounter itself has been symbolized by a bark shield – said to have been used by indigenous Australians defending themselves against gunfire from Cook’s crew.
Now on permanent display at the British Museum, the shield has come to mean different things for settler Australians and Indigenous Australians, even as historians and archaeologists debate whether it was it was really there at Botany Bay for this historic encounter. Maria Nugent is a Fellow in the Australian Centre for Indigenous History in the School of History at the Australian National University. She is the author of Captain Cook Was Here
(Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Michael F. Robinson is professor of history at Hillyer College, University of Hartford. He's the author of
The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration and American Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2006) and
The Lost White Tribe: Scientists, Explorers, and the Theory that Changed a Continent (Oxford University Press, 2016). He's also the host of the podcast Time to Eat the Dogs, a weekly podcast about science, history, and exploration.