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Crossing the Dead Heart
Author: C.T. Madigan RRP A$9.99 (Ebook)
Publisher: ETT Imprint Pub Date: 2023-09-01
BIC Category: Australasian & Pacific history ISBN: 9781923024076
BISAC Category1: HISTORY / Australia & New Zealand
BISAC Category2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Adventurers & Explorers


This book is a classic narrative of modern exploration; a story of adventure, enterprise and patient scientific exploration, illustrated by photographs taken on the expedition.
The Simpson is a sand-ridge desert extending 200 miles (322 km) west to east, the ridges running parallel from north to south at roughly quarter-mile (0.4 km) intervals, some reaching as high as 100 feet (30 m). Madigan planned a ground crossing in the winter of 1939. A party of nine, including a biologist, a botanist, a photographer and a radio operator, with nineteen camels, made the exhausting crossing from Andado station in the Northern Territory to Birdsville in twenty-five days. It verified Madigan's previous conclusions that the area was a wasteland. This last classic Australian exploration adventure pioneered the use of mobile radio communication; national broadcasts were made through the Australian Broadcasting Commission from desert camps. The scientific results were published and also a popular accound, Crossing the Dead Heart (Melbourne, 1946). He saw the 'Dead Heart' as a land of everlasting sand-ridges and salt-encrusted clay-pans; while his conclusions seemed correct then, within twenty years the area was criss-crossed by petroleum explorers.
- Australian Dictionary of Biography

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