- Jan Carstenszoon
Jan Carstenszoon (also known by the abbreviation of his
patronymCarstensz or Carstensz. [ [http://gutenberg.net.au/dutch-note.html note on 17thC Dutch Surnames] ] ) was a Dutch explorer, of whose life little is known.
In 1623, he was commissioned by the
Dutch East India Companyto lead an expedition to the southern coast of New Guineaand beyond, to follow up the reports of land sighted further south in the 1606 voyages of Willem Janszoonin the " Duyfken".
Setting sail from Amboyna in the
Dutch East Indieswith two ships, the "Pera" and "Arnhem", Carstenszoon navigated the Gulf of Carpentaria. Landing in search of fresh waterfor his stores, he encountered a party of the local indigenous Australianinhabitants. Carstenszoon described them as "poor and miserable looking people" who had "no knowledge of precious metals or spices".
May 8, 1623, Carstenszoon and his crew fought a skirmish with 200 Aborigines at the mouth of a small river near Cape Duyfken(named after Janszoon's vessel which had earlier visited the region) and landed at the Pennefather River. He named the small river Carpentier River, and the Gulf of Carpentariain honour of Pieter de Carpentier, at that time Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Carstensz Pyramid, Irian Jaya, Indonesiawas named by him. He sighted the glaciers on the peak of the mountain in 1623. Carstenszoon was ridiculed in Europewhen he said he had seen snownear the equator.
He also named several other features along
Australia's north coast.
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