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Digging for Napoleon-era treasure, Australian filmmakers found this Chinese Ming Period Buddha

Is the discovery of a bronze Buddha statue possibly dating back to the Ming dynasty in the sands of northwestern Australia evidence the Chinese visited and settled here 600 years ago?

Or is the small, very heavy object, which one expert has dated back to the early 1400s, a mere hoax?

Two filmmakers and adventurers have claimed they found the statue on a remote beach in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region.

Leon Deschamps, a second generation historian and photographer from Shark Bay in the Gascoyne, captured the statue’s unearthing with his Finn Films co-director and partner, Shayne Thomson.

The men discovered the statue using metal detectors during filming for a documentary about the early 1800s French exploration of Australia.

Deschamps and Thomson were looking for objects left behind during a Napoleonic-era voyage when they came across the Buddha, which weights 1kg despite its small size.

They have now described the find as possible “evidence the 1421 Chinese Ming Dynasty ‘Treasure Fleets’ exploration of Australia up to two centuries before Europeans”.

More here.

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