- May 2011
- Rural Australia
120,000 years? Interesting....Archaeology Places Humans in Australia 120,000-Years-Ago
Two largely overlooked environmental studies had previously detected strong evidence of firestick farming used to deforest land at two sites almost 130,000 years ago. The first site is at Lake George, New South Wales and the second at the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. The controversial early dating for a human presence suggested in both these studies was largely ignored. The depth of aboriginal inhabitation has long been a thorny political issue in modern Australia.
Jim Bowler understands the controversy, having been embroiled in one over the Lake Mungo remains, he also recognises that there will be many scientists seeking to dismiss his team’s tentative findings.
Bowler explains that the site, “It presents the probability of people here on coastal Victoria 120,000 years ago. If correct, that would double the time of human occupation. That is a big jump to make. It will not be widely accepted until the evidence is definitive. Aware of that limitation, we have put this current evidence to the public. Each may make up their own minds.”
Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria – The Moyjil site, south-west Victoria, Australia: excavation of a Last Interglacial charcoal and burnt stone feature — is it a hearth?
University of Cambridge – Ancient ‘trace’ in Papuan genomes suggests previously unknown expansion out of Africa