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c. 1000?
Narrative history in HistoryWorld    
The huge stone heads standing on Easter Island are carved and erected at some time between the sixth and seventeenth century AD      
Narrative history in HistoryWorld     
Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan crosses the Pacific in ninety-nine days and reaches Guam       
Narrative history in HistoryWorld     
Discovery of the Solomon Islands by a Spanish ship prompts interest in a possible Terra Australis Incognita ('unknown southern land')       
Narrative history in HistoryWorld    
Abel Tasman makes landfall in the Macquarie Harbour area in the island now known after him, Tasmania      
Narrative history in HistoryWorld    
The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman attempts to land in Golden Bay, New Zealand, resulting in a clash with the Maoris      
Narrative history in HistoryWorld     
Abel Tasman reaches yet more islands previously unknown to Europeans – Tonga and Fiji       
Narrative history in HistoryWorld    
Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, is discovered on a Pacific island where he has survived alone for nearly five years      
Fleet marriage of original Robinson Crusoe, c.1718
National Archives, Kew
Narrative history in HistoryWorld    
Easter Island is reached by the Dutch, beginning a spate of European discovery in the islands of the Pacific      
Hodges Monuments on Easter Island (detail)
National Maritime Museum
Narrative history in HistoryWorld     
Captain James Cook sails from Plymouth, in England, heading for Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus       
Banks collection, fish, c.1770
Natural History Museum, London

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Captain Cook observes in Tahiti the transit of Venus, the primary purpose of his voyage to the Pacific       
Hodges Tahiti Revisited (detail)
National Maritime Museum