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Australia: Sophisticated inland campsite 50 000 years ago

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From Annalee Newitz at Ars Technica:

In a stunning discovery, a team of archaeologists in Australia has found extensive remains of a sophisticated human community living 50,000 years ago. The remains were found in a rock shelter in the continent’s arid southern interior. Packed with a range of tools, decorative pigments, and animal bones, the shelter is a wide, roomy space located in the Flinders Ranges, which are the ancestral lands of the Adnyamathanha. The find overturns previous hypotheses of how humans colonized Australia, and it also proves that they interacted with now-extinct megafauna that ranged across the continent.

Dubbed the Warratyi site, the rock shelter sits above a landscape criss-crossed with deep gorges that would have flowed with water when Paleolithic humans lived here. From extensive excavations conducted last year, the archaeologists estimate that people occupied Warratyi on and off for 40,000 years, finally abandoning the site just 10,000 years ago.

Ancient people adapted to Australia’s harshest environment shortly after arriving on its shores. Warratyi was a resting point for groups who traveled widely, created art, and manufactured tools for everything from cutting to sewing. The Aborginals who settled the Adnyamathanha lands were basically high-tech explorers of the Paleolithic world. More.

See also: The search for our earliest ancestors: signals in the noise

Early human religion: A 747 built in the basement with an X-Acto knife

Oh and, by the way, Michael Cremo is still wrong 😉

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One Reply to “Australia: Sophisticated inland campsite 50 000 years ago

  1. 1

    A similar discovery last summer found evidence of farming as far back as 23,000 years ago. That’s 11,000 years earlier than previously thought.

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