Page:The Aborigines of Australia (1988).djvu/22

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7
PROBABLE PERIOD OF THEIR ARRIVAL

in his "History of the Polynesian Nation," during the era immediately succeeding the Deluge issued forth from their homes in the southern extremity of Asia on the western ocean, colonized in their course that chain of islands which forms a connecting link between two worlds in the southern seas, and after encountering incredible hardships and dangers, finally succeeded in reaching the western coast of the American continent, where their descendants founded mighty civilized nations, the decayed remnants only of which existed in Mexico and Peru when these regions were explored by the discoverers and conquerors who followed in the track of Columbus? Or is the original colonization of New Holland the result of some later exodus? If its first inhabitants did not arrive in the days of Shem and Ham, did they not arrive before Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt? If not prior to that event, did they not arrive before the founding of the Roman Empire? And if not before that period, did they not arrive before the Christian era? And if not then, at what period since? On these points all is uncertainty. No monuments, no traditions, no worship, no method even of computing time exist to aid speculation. By means of this latter light alone we arrive at the conclusion that if the original founders of the race who now inhabit the Australian wilderness did not go forth at the early period assigned to the dispersion of the founders of the Indo-American people, they at all events must have emigrated at some very early period in the world's history. Monuments, in the ordinary