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brief, basic information laid out in an easy-to-read format. May use informal language. (Includes most news articles)


provides additional background information and further reading. Introduces some subject-specific language.


lengthy, detailed information. Frequently uses technical/subject-specific language. (Includes most analytical articles)



Welcome to the Marine and Maritime research guide on the Batavia shipwreck. This guide contains the history of the Batavia as well as methods of locating, retrieving and conserving shipwrecks.


"In 1629 the Dutch East India merchantman, the Batavia, was wrecked on the reef islands off the Western Australian coast while on the maiden voyage to Batavia. For the survivors, this disaster was the beginning of a harrowing ordeal of desertion, betrayal and murder. As their captain, Pelsaert, sailed for help, over 125 men, women and children were murdered by mutineers in a frenzy of bloodlust and greed. When Pelsaert returned, months later, with a rescue ship, the marooned were caught in a desperate battle between soldiers trying to defend them and the mutineers who were determined to leave no witnesses" (Edwards, 2000).

Murder Island

60 Minutes. (2016, November 12). Murder Island -  Batavia [Television series]. Melbourne, Australia: Nine Corporation.

As far as gripping, real-life crime thrillers go, this one has everything. A mutiny, a psychopath and a brutal mass murder. It’s a 388-year-old cold case mystery that dates back to 1629 when the Dutch sailing ship, Batavia, struck a tiny atoll off the West Australian coast near Geraldton. Almost 300 passengers and crew survived the shipwreck but over the next few months, as they waited to be rescued, more than 100 were slaughtered. For centuries their bodies lay buried, the story forgotten. But now the search for the truth about Australia’s greatest mass murder is underway as archaeologists from Australia and the Netherlands dig up new clues – and victims.

Batavia History

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