Friday, October 31, 2008

This again

This week's Patrick Wintour award goes to Richard Alleyne, the Telegraph's science correspondent.

Here's his piece about the discovery of Alexander Selkirk's island camp:

Cast away on a desert island, surviving on what nature alone can provide, praying for rescue but at the same time fearing the sight of a boat on the horizon.

These are the imaginative creations of Daniel Defoe in his famous novel Robinson Crusoe.

But the story is believed to be based on the real-life experience of Scottish sailor Selkirk, marooned in 1704 on a small tropical island in the Pacific for more than four years, and now archaeological evidence has been found to support his existence on the island.

A bit over-written, but it's nice when reporters make an effort to inject some originality into their copy, and I'm glad the Telegraph doesn't just insist on its reporters lifting the latest from the Mail's website. But what's this now? Science Daily – your source for the latest research news has more on the story:

Cast away on a desert island, surviving on what nature alone can provide, praying for rescue but fearing the sight of a boat on the horizon. These are the imaginative creations of Daniel Defoe in his famous novel Robinson Crusoe. Yet the story is believed to be based on the real-life experience of sailor Alexander Selkirk, marooned in 1704 on a small tropical island in the Pacific for more than four years, and now archaeological evidence has been found to support contemporary records of his existence on the island.

An article in the journal Post-Medieval Archaeology presents evidence from an archaeological dig on the island of Aguas Buenas, since renamed Robinson Crusoe Island, which reveals evidence of the campsite of an early European occupant.

&c &c

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