A bioarchaeological investigation of a multiple burial associated with the Batavia mutiny of 1629

Daniel Franklin, Leonard Freedman

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    On 29 October 1628, the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie(V()C) !\c!o/lr,;cllip Balai'ia embarkc'd on a vovage into infamy. Originallvsailing as part of a fleet of six other ships, the Bllllluill was subsequentlyseparated, and wrecked on Morning I\eef in the Houtman Abrolhos on 4 June1629. The ship's Commander, Francisco Pelsaert, had survivors landed onnearby Beacon Island, and then embarked on a rescue voyage to Batavia(modern day Jakarta). During Pelsaert's absence, an ultimately unsuccessfulmutiny attempt resulted in the murder of at least 125 people.Human skeletal material has been recovered from excavations of theBallluia land sites since the 1960s. Four individual burials were discoveredbetween 1960 and 1964. A further six individuals were recovered from amultiple burial between 1994 and 200!. Characteristics of the multiple burial,such as the age, sex, positioning of individuals inlcrred and evidence oftrauma are analysed and compared for any similarity to individuals listed,and events outlined and historicallv recorded. The results of this analvsissuggest that four of the interred are' probably the sick individuals who \~ereamongst the massacre's early victims; two sub-adults were also included inthe burial, at least one of which can also be directlv accounted for.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-90
    JournalRecords of the Western Australian Museum
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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