300 years afterAlexander Selkirk, the real-life model for Robinson Crusoe stayed an island after a disagreement with his sea captain, archaeologists think they have found his campsite.
Archaeologists have found evidence of what they believe to be Selkirkâ€™s presence in a part of the island known as Aguas Buenas, uncovering the remnants of a campsite constructed by an early European occupant. An article published in the journal Post-Medieval Archaeology reports the discovery of a fragment of copper alloy from a pair of navigational dividers, which would have belonged to a shipâ€™s navigator or master. Reports from the 18th century from Selkirkâ€™s rescuer, Captain Woodes Rogers, suggest that Selkirk fulfilled one of these roles.
David Caldwell, Keeper of Scotland and Europe for National Museums Scotland and leader of the dig, said: â€œThe evidence uncovered at Aguas Buenas corroborates the stories of Alexander Selkirkâ€™s stay on the island. I am satisfied that this is the place where Selkirk set up his camp. The discovery of the divider was crucial.â€
Other compelling finds include two holes for posts, which suggest that Selkirk constructed two shelters by a freshwater stream and set up a viewpoint to watch for â€” and assess the friendliness of â€” approaching ships. In the end, five years passed before an English ship visited the island.