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Archaeologists from The University of Western Australia working with Traditional Custodians from the Birriliburru Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) have recovered evidence that people lived in the Australian arid zone 50,000 years ago.
This is 10,000 years earlier than previously understood for the interior deserts of Australia, and among some of the earliest known evidence for people living in deserts anywhere in the world.
Carnarvon - Ranges - Canning - Stock - Route
The remote Carnarvon Ranges are near the Canning Stock Route. Evidence from the Karnatukul site (previously known as Serpents Glen) indicates that people lived in this interior desert from very early in the settlement of Australia and that they remained in these ranges during the last Ice Age.
Lead Investigator Professor Jo McDonald, Director of UWA's Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, said a significant find supported that this early group of desert peoples were technological innovators.
Deposits - Years - Backed - Microlith - Multifunctional
"We found in deposits dating back around 43,000 years ago an early backed microlith, a hafted multifunctional tool which could be used as either a spear barb or for wood-working," Professor McDonald said.
"This is more than 15,000 years earlier than other known Australian examples of this tool type. Residue found on the tool indicates that hafting technology was practised much earlier than had been previously demonstrated in Australia. Tools such as this are found across most of southern and eastern Australia, but most are dated to the last 4,000...
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