New England's History

Discussions on the history and historiography of Australia's New England

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Pacific Belshaws 1 - passions pass through generations

Walking Day: Platt Bridge, Wigan 1900. The annual walking days were one of the rituals of Methodist life. This is the first in a series telling the story of the Pacific Belshaws

As a break from my recent focus on the built environment, over the next few columns I will take you on a journey through the history of my part of the Belshaw family.

It’s the story of a small working class family that through education, work and a degree of happenstance became an intellectual/academic family that had at least some minor impact on intellectual and academic life in four countries and, to a degree, beyond.

It is also the story of the way similar passions and interests pass through generations in different countries.

In subject terms these interests include, history, economics, anthropology and archaeology.

Recurring issues over more than 100 years of family history include economics, rural and regional development, Indigenous advancement, social justice and a belief that improvement is possible.

We can begin our story 151 years ago with the birth of my grandfather James Belshaw in Wigan, Lancashire, on February 7 1867.

Wigan and its suburbs including Ince and Platt Bridge are “Belshaw Central”.

Wigan with its coal mines, new canals and textile mills had been expanding rapidly as the industrial revolution spread.

James left school early to become a miner, the third generation to do so.

James had at least some education, later supplemented by reading and especially the bible.

By contrast, my great grandparents’ wedding certificate shows bride, groom and the two witnesses all signing with a cross, implying that they were illiterate. This was not unusual.

When my father visited England in 1936, his father’s older sister Ellen apologised that she had not kept in touch, explaining that she could not write.

In 1897, James Belshaw married Mary Pilkington who had been working in the mills. In 1898 their first child, Horace, was born followed by Olive in 1899. Olive died two years later, but then in 1804 a third child, May, was born.

My grandfather seems to have been determined to better himself. He set up as a greengrocer, then worked as an insurance salesman and then again as a coal miner.

He and his wife were devout members of the Primitive Methodist Church.

He was also politically active, running in 1905 as a candidate for the newly formed Labour Party in the Abram Council elections. “I am one of you, a local and working man,” he explained in his campaign pamphlet.

That same year James decided to emigrate to New Zealand. That decision led to the establishment of the Pacific Belshaws.

Note to readers: This post appeared as a column in the Armidale Express Extra on 10 January 2018. I am repeating the columns here with a lag because they are not all on line outside subscription. You can see all the Belshaw World and History Revisited/History Matters columns by clicking here for 2009, here for 2010, here for 2011, here for 2012, here for 2013, here for 2014, here for 2015, here for 2016, here  2017, here 2018 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The story of builder and philanthropist George F Nott

As part of my series on the New England built environment and associated architecture, I devoted four posts to sketching out the life of New England builder, industrialist and philanthropist George Nott.
  Former St Patrick's Orphanage, Armidale, one of the many buildings built by George Nott especially in Armidale and Inverell.  Architect FJ Bishop of Tamworth. Post Federation Gothic style. Completed 1921
George Nott he was born on the Breeza Plains in 1865. He came to Inverell where his father worked as a brick maker and established a brickworks.

By 1901, George had taken over the Inverell brick works from his father and had begun to expand it. By then, he seems to have been living in Armidale where he built a significant business empire including building, saw-milling, joinery and brick making

George Nott died on 16 June 1940. Over his long career, he had built many of the iconic buildings in Armidale and Inverell. His donations of material and money played a critical role in bringing community projects to success including the New England University College.

You can find the full story in:

Monday, January 08, 2018

Beringia and the settlement of North America - DNA results from Alaska

This post is a reference note. It's outside my primary focus, but is recorded for reference purposes in the ever evolving world of prehistoric man.

In a paper in Nature, Terminal Pleistocene Alaskan genome reveals first founding population of Native Americans that was published on-line on 3 January 2018, the authors' report on DNA analysis of Alaskan remains::
Despite broad agreement that the Americas were initially populated via Beringia, the land bridge that connected far northeast Asia with northwestern North America during the Pleistocene epoch, when and how the peopling of the Americas occurred remains unresolved. Analyses of human remains from Late Pleistocene Alaska are important to resolving the timing and dispersal of these populations. The remains of two infants were recovered at Upward Sun River (USR), and have been dated to around 11.5 thousand years ago (ka). Here, by sequencing the USR1 genome to an average coverage of approximately 17 times, we show that USR1 is most closely related to Native Americans, but falls basal to all previously sequenced contemporary and ancient Native Americans. As such, USR1 represents a distinct Ancient Beringian population. Using demographic modelling, we infer that the Ancient Beringian population and ancestors of other Native Americans descended from a single founding population that initially split from East Asians around 36 ± 1.5 ka, with gene flow persisting until around 25 ± 1.1 ka. 
The story is well covered in this Guardian piece by Jennifer Raff (hat tip to John Hawks) and in this more detailed story by Dr. Ben A. Potter, Ancient Beringians.The following diagram from DR Potter's piece suggests the evolution of the human population in North America. Comments follow the diagram.

No doubt the diagram will continue to evolve as we learn more. For the moment, a few comments from an Australian perspective. .

Beringia is the name given to the land bridge that joined Asia and North America during the period of very low sea levels. This land lies north of the main glaciation during the Last Glacial Maximum. We keep coming back to the LGM don't we?!

According to Wikipedia, Beringia, like most of Siberia and all of North and Northeast China, was not glaciated because snowfall was very light.. It was a grassland steppe, including the land bridge, that stretched for hundreds of kilometres into the continents on either side. It became, in effect, a refuge area that allowed some people and animals to survive and to enter what would become North America. More and more, I think that we need to understand the possible pattern of refuge areas in Sahul (Australia) that might have facilitated human survival on this content during the LGM.

In looking at the diagram, I was struck by the short time horizons involved in the evolution of particular groups compared to the history of Aboriginal occupation of this continent.We know, I think, that the Papuans and Aborigines come from the same base, that the genetic differences between South West and North East are perhaps as great as those between Asian and European populations, that there were some specific genetic mutations that emerged in adapting to differing environments. We also know that there were considerable differences in physical appearance between differing Aboriginal groups over space. But I don't think that we understand the pattern here. Certainly I don't.

 I think that it would be interesting to find that out.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

The work of Dr Caitlin Green - the importance of the local effects of sea level changes on the detail of human history

The start of a new history year. May 2018 be a good year for all of us, personally and in research and writing. There is so much more to learn. At this point I haven't attempted any new year's resolutions. I may do so later. For the moment, I want to focus on one blog that I found over the break, Dr Caitlin Green's personal blog and website,. It's a blog I have really enjoyed.

Caitlin is an historian and writer whose professional interests lie in the history, archaeology, place-names and literature of late Roman and early medieval Britain. Don't let her field put you off. Even if you are not interested in her specific field, there is some good and fascinating stuff there that really spans.

Normally I would give you some examples to illustrate, a taste if you like. But this time, I want to follow through a series of linked posts over time that while in a different place are tangential to some of the discussion on this blog.

The Welton le Wold handaxes: 400,000 years ago

In The Welton le Wold handaxes & the earliest human activity in the Louth region (4 August 2014),  I had to look Louth up.  It's in Lincolnshire, an area that Caitlin has subjected to detailed study. The post discusses the latest dating evidence: "We therefore have, in the Welton handaxes, solid evidence that early humans were present in the Louth region around 400,000 years ago."
The Welton handaxes. Note the fine worked detail surviving after c400,000 years. 
The material in question comes from Welton le Wold quarry, which lies in the Lincolnshire Wolds around three miles to the west of Louth. They consist of three flint handaxes, a worked flake, and a number of fossil animal bones and teeth. Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating of the associated gravel suggests that the handaxes and fossil bones probably originated during a temperate period, the Hoxnian Interglacial, which lasted from around 424,000–374,000 years ago.

In her post, Caitlin discusses the life of the makers and their possible relationship to other English discoveries. In doing so, she outlines some of the huge climate and landscape changes that took place over the 400,000 years since and the way they might have affected both movement and evidence.

In Australia, we have become thinking in long terms as the date of human occupation of the continent has been progressively pushed back to now around 65,000 years. The time horizons in Europe and Africa are much longer because of the variety of Hominin species involved. One of the interesting questions is the possibility that we will find evidence of earlier hominin species in Australia. This seems more likely than it did a few years ago since the Hominin occupation of what is now Asia was far more widespread and complex than was once realised.

From Welton le Wold to the end of the last glacial period, c15,000 years ago 

This graph from Dr Caitlin Green provides a visual indication of temperature fluctuations over the last 800,000 years. Those fluctuations had huge impacts on human life.  
Caitlin continues the story in Of chalk and ice: the white cliffs of Louth in the Palaeolithic era  (24 September 2014). This traces the story from the handaxes probably used by pre- or ancestral Neanderthal hunters in the Hoxnian Interglacial around 400,000 years ago to the end of the last glacial period nearly 15,000 years ago.

The archaeological record is patchy, It appears that at 280,000 years ago there were at least occasional human visits, that around 57,000 years ago the as Neanderthal settlement and then around 35,000 years ago modern humans arrived.  The patterns reflect varying temperature patterns. The arrival of the Last Glacial Maximum effectively terminated much human settlement.

From 15,000 years ago

From 15,000 years ago, Caitlin's material is spread over multiple posts. I will list some of those posts in a moment, but I wanted to make some general comments first.

There is a constant battle between land and sea. The land extends itself through a process called progradation; rivers carry silt that can progressively build land through the formation of deltas. In New England, perhaps the most classic example is the lower Macleay valley where at the height of the Holocene the sea stretched inland to the site of modern Kempsey, only to be driven back to the current coastline through progradation.

For its part, the sea constantly erodes the land. Sometimes when there are big storms in combination with high tides, the sea can breach barriers reclaiming the land.

Sea level changes affect the whole process. Sea levels relative to land can change because sea levels rise. An extreme case is the rise in sea levels from 120 metres below current levels at the height of the Last Glacial Maximum to perhaps three metres above current levels at the peak of the warm Holocene period.

Sea levels relative to land can also change because the land itself rises or falls. Again, an extreme example is the shifts associated with the ending of the last ice age where the removal of the ice cap caused post glacial rebound. Land that had been forced down by the icecaps rose, causing land elsewhere to fall. Places that were ports, for example, find themselves inland. Places that were above water find themselves submerged. These are long term processes that continue today,

Post glacial changes are not the only factor at play, for continental shifts also affect land levels. Research suggests that as the Australian continent drifted north from Antarctica during the past 50 million years, it subsided by up to 300 metres and tilted to the north. Again, this is a long term process that continues today  It seems that the Australian continent is both moving north (1.5 metres in the last 22 years) and wriggling around as it moves.

One of the lessons all this, a lesson that Caitlin's posts with their focus on part of Lincolnshire illustrate, is that the local effects of these changes vary across the entire spectrum. You cannot simply apply generalised models without risk of error. You  actually have to analyse local conditions. This is true in general, but increases in importance as the time period under study increases.

Some of Caitlin's posts are:


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A towering heritage - the remarkable story of builder and philanthropist George F Nott Part 4

St Mary and Joseph Cathedral Armidale. Built by George Nott 1911-12, architect John Hennessy, the Cathedral required 1.1 million bricks with up to 30 men working on site This, the sixteenth in my series on New England's built landscape and architecture, is the forth and final columns on the remarkable life of builder George Nott.  

Armidale, Friday 19 October 2012. Eight hundred people have gathered for a service to celebrate the 100th birthday of Armidale’s Catholic Cathedral of Saint Mary and Joseph.

Among those in the congregation is 91 year old Peggy Becke, the only surviving daughter of George Nott, the Cathedral’s builder. She wore a gold chain, part of a gold chain and watch set presented to her father by the grateful parishioners.

George F Nott was a devout Anglican, but his relationships with all of Armidale’s groups were good at a time when sometimes bitter sectarian divides were still a fact of Australian life. He had built with care and even donated to the building fund.

The Cathedral was designed by John Hennessy from the Sydney firm of architects Sherrin and Hennessy. Hennessy was a prominent Roman Catholic architect and a good friend of Cardinal Moran. His buildings include St Patrick’s College Manly and St Joseph’s College Hunter’s Hill.

Cardinal Moran laid the foundation stone for the new Cathedral on 5 February 1911. This had been a major build involving 1.1 million bricks with up to thirty men on site at any one time. Its completion in barely 20 months was a major achievement involving close liaison between builder and architect.

Tower, St Peter's Cathedral Armidale. George Nott's last project. In addition to donating 150,000 bricks, he worked as honorary supervisor training builders and tradesmen in the now forgotten skills required to complete the project.

Twenty seven years later and just before his death, George Nott was involved in another church build that also left a major impression on the Armidale streetscape.

On 3 May 1939, the bell-tower of St Peter’s Anglican Cathedral was dedicated. The tower had been in the original plans by architect John Horbury Hunt, but had not been completed. It was now time to rectify that omission.

This time George Nott’s role was honorary supervisor. He also donated the 150,000 bricks used in the construction.

Newcastle architects Castleden and Sara had been commissioned to build the tower, following as faithfully as possible Hunt’s original plans and specifications. The difficulty was that the builders and other tradesmen of the 1930s Art Deco period, the period which gave us the new Tattersall’s Hotel among other buildings, were inexperience in the techniques that Hunt had prescribed all those years before.

This is where George Nott with his long experience came into his own. He knew how to do things that had been forgotten, how to explain to the builders and craftsmen involved.

George Nott died on 16 June 1940. Over his long career, he had built many of the iconic buildings in Armidale and Inverell. He had built a considerable business empire. His donations of material and money had played a critical role in bringing community projects to success.

His legacy surrounds us today. 
Note to readers: This post appeared as a column in the Armidale Express Extra on 20 December 2017. I am repeating the columns here with a lag because they are not all on line outside subscription. You can see all the Belshaw World and History Revisited/History Matters columns by clicking here for 2009, here for 2010, here for 2011, here for 2012, here for 2013, here for 2014, here for 2015, here for 2016, here  2017. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Season's greetings to you all

I am shutting down for the new year. I will bring up my last Express column for the year next week, but other than that I am recharging, focused on catching up on other things and especially my writing backlog. For those who celebrate Christmas, have a lovely festive season. I look forward to meeting you once again next year

 To leave you, I was asked to do a short interview on my history column. I leave you with that.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Building a business empire - the remarkable story of builder and philanthropist George F Nott Part 3

Glen Innes Town Hall: Construction began in 1887, with George Nott responsible for the brickwork.This, the fifteenth in my series on New England's built landscape and architecture, is the third of four columns on the remarkable life of builder George Nott.  

Next post.

As a regional historian, I am constantly frustrated by the lack of previous work on Northern history.

This is not a criticism of my colleagues. I stand in awe of the energy of historians such as Lionel Gilbert, John Ferry, Bruce Mitchell, Graham Wilson, Jillian Oppenheimer or John Ryan to name just a few. Without them, we would all be the poorer. I rely on their work all the time.

Writing on the history of Northern New South Wales, the broader New England, over the last 40,000 years has made me a bower bird historian. I do not have the time to research every town or every topic. Instead, I rely on the work of others, pecking around in the dirt to collect glittering pieces to bring back to my nest so that I can gather them in new displays.

Every so often, more often than I like, I run across a gap that frustrates me. Builder, industrialist and philanthropist George F Nott is a case in point. He cries out for a biography and, so far at least, I have not been able to find one.

We  know that he was born on the Breeza Plains in 1865. We know that his father came to Inverell where he worked as a brick maker and established a brickworks.

We know from Glen Innes historian Eve Chappell that George was responsible for the brickwork on the Glen Innes Town Hall where construction began in 1887. Eve notes that George later moved to Armidale, but does not give a date.

We know that by 1901, George had taken over the Inverell brick works from his father and had begun to expand it. By then, he seems to have been living in Armidale and had built a significant business empire.

Part of the business empire: George Nott's mill and joinery, 1949, with the tower that became a central Armidale landmark.

I say a significant empire. In 1898, George had sufficient money to spend £1000 erecting a sawmill in his central Armidale joinery works.

In 1900, he extended this by adding an office and workshop. He also bought the Armidale brickworks from George Palmer for £4000, immediately extending it by adding a large chimney stack and three new kilns, each capable of taking 85,000 bricks.

The empire continued to grow, In 1905, plant was purchased from the Eleanora gold mine at Hillgrove, along with a 225hp boiler and woodworking machinery intended for door and sash making for the wholesale trade. In 1906, a new brick chimney was added to the timber works, a chimney that became an Armidale landmark. Then, in 1913, Nott took over Trim’s West End timber and joinery works including the Styx River hardwood mills.

If you add all this and the building work together, you have a large operation that provided a base for George Nott’s later contributions. My frustration is that we know just so little about the timing and process involved.

 Note to readers: This post appeared as a column in the Armidale Express Extra on 13 December 2017. I am repeating the columns here with a lag because they are not all on line outside subscription. You can see all the Belshaw World and History Revisited/History Matters columns by clicking here for 2009, here for 2010, here for 2011, here for 2012, here for 2013, here for 2014, here for 2015, here for 2016, here  2017. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Understanding the impact of sea level change in Aboriginal New England - a second note

This note briefly follows up on some of the issues I mentioned in Understanding the impact of sea level change in Aboriginal New England - a note.

Storegga Slides

In a comment on the post, JohnB referenced the three Storegga Slides, considered to be among the largest known landslides. Wikipedia states that they occurred under water, at the edge of Norway's continental shelf in the Norwegian Sea, approximately 6225–6170 BCE. The collapse involved an estimated 290 km (180 mi) length of coastal shelf, with a total volume of 3,500 km3 (840 cu mi) of debris, which caused a very large tsunami in the North Atlantic Ocean. In Scotland, traces of the tsunami associated with the last slide have been found, with deposited sediment being discovered in Montrose Basin, the Firth of Forth, up to 80 km (50 mi) inland and 4 m (13 ft) above current normal tide levels.

The Australian slides referred to in my note appear smaller, with the biggest one described as "several tens of kilometres across."  That would still have had a significant if more localised effect.

Climate Change and the Making of Britain. 

The last Storegga slide may have marked the final end of Doggerland (and here), the landbridge connecting England and the European mainland.

An brief article by Tate Greenhalgh and Lisa Hendry (The making of an island, Natural History Museum, 15 December 2017)  traces the interaction between climate, sea levels and Hominin occupation of what are now the British Isles over 950,000 years.

It's very simplified, but it is easy to read and provides an overview of the scale of change.

Post-glacial Sea Level Change in Australia

Following my earlier post, I found a very good review article, Lewis, S.E., et al., "Post-glacial sea-level changes around the Australian margin: a review", Quaternary Science Reviews (2012),

It's a very interesting article because of the way it consolidates the current state of the research on the pattern of sea level change and the reasons for  local variations over the period from the lowstand during the Last Glacial Maximum through to the Holocene highstand and then the relatively slight fall to the standstill sea level around the present level. It fills another gap in my research.

JohnB wondered if memories of landslip induced tsunamis might be found in Aboriginal oral history. I don't know. However, in an earlier article in The Conversation ( Ancient Aboriginal stories preserve history of a rise in sea level, January 13,  2015) by Nick Reid  and Patrick D. Nunn concludes that the memory of the impact of the sea rise was preserved in Aboriginal oral tradition.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Building a place in history - the remarkable story of builder and philanthropist George F Nott Part 2

Workers at Wade's brickworks Inverell: Sold to Ben Wade in 1909 and later moved, the brickworks was founded by William Nott before being extended by George F. Knott in the early 1900s. This, the forteenth in my series on New England's built landscape and architecture, is the second of four columns on the remarkable life of builder George Nott.  

Next post.

Builder and philanthropist George Frederick Nott was born on the Breeza Plains in 1865, the son of William Randolp (WR) Nott and his wife Mary Ann Northey. I do not know much  about the early life of the Notts.

WR was the son of ex-convict Thomas Edward Nott who had been transported on the “Elizabeth” in 1816. At Sydney Cove, Thomas had met and married currency lass Charity Evans, the daughter of former soldier and then free settler Thomas Evans and ex-convict Judith Francis Bidwell.

Thomas and Charity settled in the Lower Hunter where. WR was born at Maitland in 1839. There WR met and married Marry Anne before moving north, ending up in Inverell around 1878. 

WR was a skilled bricklayer with a love of the material and its application to building, something that his son George Frederick inherited. While timber still provided a core building material, the emerging commercial and professional classes in the growing New England towns demanded bricks, leading to the establishment of local brickworks.

WR prospered. He began making began making bricks on the banks of the Macintyre River at Inverell before establishing a site at nearby Goonowigall. Its not clear when George Frederick became involved in the business, but it seems likely that it happened at an early age.

By 1901, the now 36 year old was in charge of the facility. He had also established his own rapidly growing business empire in Armidale.

George Frederick was a skilled industrialist as well as builder. In 1901, the skilled brickmakers at Goonowigall could only make 1,000 bricks a day each, limiting production to 20,000 hand made bricks a week. Inverell was booming, and this was just not enough.

George Frederick began an expansion program, buying the adjoining Wellis’ brickyard and installing three new large kilns linked by a tramway. Production expanded from 20,000 to 70,000 bricks per week.

In 1909, George Frederick sold his Inverell brickworks to Ben Wade. He continued to build in Inverell, but his main industrial interests were now in Armidale. The brickworks he had established was moved to a new site in 1929, but continued to function until 1974.

In my next column in this series, I will look at George Frederick’s contribution to New England’s life and built landscape across three dimensions, as a builder, as and industrialist and as a philanthropist.
Note to readers: This post appeared as a column in the Armidale Express Extra on 6 December 2017. I am repeating the columns here with a lag because they are not all on line outside subscription. You can see all the Belshaw World and History Revisited/History Matters columns by clicking here for 2009, here for 2010, here for 2011, here for 2012, here for 2013, here for 2014, here for 2015, here for 2016, here  2017.   

Monday, December 11, 2017

Understanding the impact of sea level change in Aboriginal New England - a note

Underwater landslip on the downward slope of the continental shelf off Byron Bay. New research shows a large number of such slips, many of which have occurred in the last 25,000 years. These were within the period of Aboriginal occupation of New England, a time of great changes in sea levels.    

Interesting article in The Conversation (11 December 2017) by Samantha Clarke, Hannah Power, Kaya Wilson and Tom Hubble, Scars left by Australia’s undersea landslides reveal future tsunami potential on evidence for sometimes large underwater landslides on the downward slope where the continental shelf  falls away to deeper water. This diagram from the article illustrates the process.

The focus in the article is on tsunami risk from future landslips. However, I was interested both in the undersea pictures and the reference to frequency over the last 25,000 year for this was a period of substantial sea level change.

Pattern of Sea Level Change

Without bogging down in dates,  the last ice age began about 110,000 years ago. Sea levels fluctuated, falling during glacial periods, rising during warmer interglacial periods. Around 40,000 years ago, sea levels were perhaps 50 metres below present levels. From around 36,000 years ago, the climate became cooler and drier. Then from around 25,000 years ago the climate deteriorated very significantly with spreading ice sheets globally. This climatic regime peaked during what is called the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), 21,000 to 15,000 years ago.

As more water turned to ice, sea levels fell significantly, bottoming around 18,000 years ago at perhaps 120-130 metres below present levels. At this height, parts of the continental shelf slope break line could have been 20-30 metres above water.

The LGM began to ease around 15,000 years ago. The North American ice sheets melted. Around 12,000 years ago, the Antarctic ice sheets began to shrink. The Holocene with its higher rainfall and warmer temperatures had begun. The seas rose and rose again, reaching present levels around 6,000 years ago, a total sea level rise of 120-130 metres over 9,000 years.  .

The erosive effects as the sea rose onto and then submerged the continental shelf must have been very considerable. I wondered what the connection might be between the number of identified slips and this sea level rise. Whether triggered by earth movements or erosion, the bigger slips could have had significant localised impacts.


My own research focuses on the broader New England. At the moment, my best estimate is that the Aborigines reached the area perhaps 31-32,000 years ago. We do not have hard evidence for this, but the time is consistent with the pattern of dates that we do have. This means that the climatic and sea level changes described above are of considerable importance. However, we need to understand the local pattern of change if we are draw tentative conclusions about their impact on Aboriginal life. The absence of relevant local material has been a considerable frustration.

The Clarke et al article provides another little building block. In checking the latest material, I also found a 2010 paper that I had not seen before: Alan Jordan, Peter Davies, Tim Ingleton, Edwina Foulsham, Joe Neilson and Tim Pritchard,  Seabed habitat mapping of the continental shelf of NSW, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW, Sydney 2010. This focuses on the current seabed habitat along the NSW, but it contains some of the best local descriptions that I have seen of the shape of the continental shelf.

I have not had time to absorb this properly. I am referencing it here as a record for later study.