HSC Paper 1 Area of Study Reading Task

Student activities

Task no. 1

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HSC Paper 1 Area of Study Reading Task

The following tasks replicate the Reading Task in Section 1 of the Area of Study Paper 1. Review the suggestions provided previously and remember to identify the overarching idea or ideas about Discovery. 

Before you begin, familiarise yourself with the tables provided as a downloadable resource, these will help you to answer the questions. 

Task no. 2

The Huijdecoper Journal

Abel Janszoon Tasman was instructed to command expeditions to the southern and eastern seas in 1642-1643 and 1644 by Anthony van Diemen, Governor General of the Dutch East Indies. Tasman kept journals on board ship during both these voyages. This a translated extract from the journal:

Today 2 do:

Early in the morning sent the Pilot Major Francoys Jacobs with our Pinnace, in which 4 musketeers 6 Rowers, each armed with pike and sword, together with the little boat of the Zeehaen, in which one of their Second Mates and 6 musketeers, to a bay which was situated northwest of us at a good mile's distance, in order to find out what utilities in the way of fresh water refreshments, timber and the like might be had there. At about 3 hours before nightfall our boats returned, bringing several samples of Vegetables (which they had seen growing in abundance), some not unlike certain vegetables growing at the Cabo de bonne Esperance and fit to be used as pot-herbs, another which was long and brackish and showed a great resemblance to Parsley du Mair. The Pilot Major and the Second Mate of the Zeehaen gave the following report:

That they had rowed more than a mile around said Point, where they found high but level land with vegetation, but cultivated, but growing by God and nature; abundance of excellent Timber and a sloping watering place; many empty valleys. Said water was of good quality, but rather difficult to procure because the desired water-course was so shallow that the water could be scooped up in bowls only. 

That they had heard certain human sounds, also Music resembling that of a Drum or a small Gong, which was not far from them, but they had seen nobody. 

That they have seen 2 trees about 2 or 2 ½ fathom in thickness, 60 or 65 feet high, under the branches, in which trees had been cut with flint axes and the bark had been peeled off in order to climb up and rob the birds' nests in the way of stairs. Each well measured 5 feet from the other, so that they presumed that the people here must be very tall or that they must by some device know how to climb the said trees. In one of the trees these carved steps appeared so fresh and green as if it had not been four days since the same had been cut. 

That they had observed footprints or traces of some animals in the earth, resembling considerably those of a tiger's claws. They also brought on board some excrements of (as far as they could presume and observe) quadrupeds, together with a little (apparently very fine) gum which had exuded from trees and smells like gum-lac that around the east corner of this bay they had sounded - in high water 13 or 14 feet at low tide there, about 3 feet that at the foremost part of said corner they had seen great numbers of Gulls/wild ducks and geese, but none farther inward, though they heard their cries. Have found no fish except some muscles, in several places stuck together in clusters 

That the Land is generally covered with trees, standing so far apart that one can easily pass through everywhere and look far ahead, so that in landing one could always get the natives or wild animals in view, unhindered by dense thick shrubbery or underwood, which would give encouragement to exploration

That they had seen at several places in the interior many trees, which just above the foot of the same were deeply burned in, the earth had been dug out here and there with the fist, and by the burning of the fire had become as hard as stone.

A little before our boats (which returned to board again) came in sight, we saw on the land (which lay about west by north of us) occasionally a thick smoke rising up, so that we presumed that our men did this as a signal, because they were so long coming back, for we had ordered them to return speedily hither, partly in order to hear about their experiences and partly, if they found nothing useful there) to the end that they might go and look at other places, so that no time should be uselessly wasted. Our men having come aboard, we asked them whether they had been thereabouts and made a fire, to which they replied No, but that at various times and places in the wood they had also seen some smoke, so that there are here without any doubt men who must be of extraordinary stature. Today we had many variable winds from the eastern side but for the greater part of the day a stiff steady breeze from the south-east. 

  1. Identify and discuss two language features that convey the attitude to the discoveries made by the Pilot Major and the Second Mate of the Zeehaen. (2 marks)
  2. How do you respond personally to the discoveries described in this extract? (2 marks)