1

I know that Indonesians had been in touch with Aboriginals, and that the Cholas made it to Australia as well. Even coins from the East African Kilwa Sultanate have been found in Australia!

If there was contact between the Aboriginals and travellers/merchants from these Eurasian–African countries, this should have given the Aborigines immunity to some Old World diseases. Is there evidence of such disease transmission in Australia?

The Indian Ocean trade was very large and much more diverse and profitable than any other trade route at that time, including the silk road. Trade ports from East Africa (including the Kilwa Sultanate, Ethiopia and the Swahili Coast), the Islamic World (Middle East, Egypt, and Parts of Africa), India, China, and Southeast Asia (including the Srivijaya and Mahajapit empires, and mainland Southeast Asia) got richer and better at seafaring. This lead to great seafaring technologies.

The Swahili Coast, Srivijaya, Mahajapit, and many more kingdoms along the Indian Ocean came about due to this reliable trade. These kingdoms definitely knew about Australia, due to its proximity from Indonesia and how great exploration was at that time. Were there any tribes that were resistant to European diseases?

Source: A video about the Indian Ocean trade.

  • 6
    Does the Wikipedia article on the history of smallpox answer your question? – sempaiscuba Jun 2 at 19:31
  • 1
    No, it doesn't. Although the question could be improved a lot, the Wikipedia section on smallpox in Australia (not evident to find) doesn't compare the resistance, the spread of Eurasian diseases and its historical impact, between America and Australia. In fact, after reading the article the only conclusion is that a 50% mortality is cited for Australia (although just for smallpox) while a way larger proportion is often heard for America. If the difference is different resistance or 19th century medicine is not mentioned nor self evident. – Pere Jun 2 at 22:06
  • @Pere Did you read the section on chicken pox? That was "... (to Europeans though not to Aborigines) less deadly ...", which shows that the statement "This would have made the Aboriginals immune to Old World diseases" is incorrect, and that the Europeans did not "erase that fact to undermine powers of Asia and Africa, to make Eurocentric history dominant". Personally, I would have closed this as a 'push question'. The community has decided to close it for being 'too basic'. That is also a reasonable choice. – sempaiscuba Jun 2 at 23:52
  • 1
    You might read a bit about epidemiology. If a country is sparsely populated (as I think Australia was prior to European settlement), a disease might not spread due to limited human contact - social distancing, to use the current term. Nor would immunity have necessarily developed. Consider the way the Black Plague recurred for centuries in Europe, or that smallpox was endemic there until the invention of vaccination. – jamesqf Jun 3 at 4:02
  • @jamesqf - That would be an interesting part of the answer. – Pere Jun 3 at 8:15