Museum of Tropical Queensland is featured in the international online exhibition
Museum of Tropical Queensland is featured in the international online exhibition "Uncovering Pacific Pasts". Assistant Curator Sophie Price with a Stone Adze

Explore secrets of the past from home in online exhibition

Townsville has stepped onto an international stage to share the secrets of the past with the world.

Museum of Tropical Queensland is currently participating in the worldwide online exhibition, Uncovering Pacific Pasts: Histories of archaeology in Oceania.

Thirty international collecting institutions including National Museum of Australia, British Museum and Vatican Museums are collaborating on the exhibition that will run for six months sharing Polynesian treasures dating back to the Neolithic Age.

Museum of Tropical Queensland has chosen to feature six stone adzes recovered from HMS Pandora.

Museum of Tropical Queensland assistant collections manager Allison Mann said the exhibition was a testament to the human race.

"The exhibition gathers information and ideas from over 30 international museums that have collections of Polynesian material. It allows us to start to rethink what we know and understand about movement, migration and trade," she said.

"Finding out what these other museums have has been vital because one of the big issues is, a lot of people have no idea what collections are held around the world."

The six basalt stone adzes that are part of the exhibition were used for agricultural purposes and have been in the museums collection for more than two decades.

Museum of Tropical Queensland assistant curator, anthropology Sophie Price said the collaboration was in a league of its own.

"It is a whole new format and it is the first step in turning a traditional display into a collaborative digital exhibition," she said.

"It allows us to showcase a small part of our wonderful collection and this list just shows that museums can come together regardless of their size."

The global collection can be viewed at