Crossroads Research

VLIZ: Legendary Maritime Expeditions with a Belgian ‘Touch’

The Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) just published a (Dutch language) article in its online newsletter Testerep, with some added input from the ERC AdG TRANSPACIFIC project at KU Leuven. The newsletter article takes the 1521 Magellan expedition and the European transpacific journeys as a vantage point for a broad historical reflection on the Belgian involvement in oceanic expeditions in the Pacific.
Wim De Winter contributed from his role as researcher in Angela Schottenhammer’s ERC Advanced Grant project ‘TRANSPACIFIC’ at KU Leuven, by pointing to some important aspects beyond the well-known story of European conquest and exploration. The navigation which helped Europeans cross the Pacific was at least partly indebted to the botanica, resources, skills, and knowledge developed locally at the Marianne-islands, the Bay of Arauco, and beyond. Knowledge on the natural world was also developed through non-verbal interactions and exchanges with islanders. This brings the story beyond a purely European view, while taking the natural environment into account.

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