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Humans reached Australia 65,000 Years Ago, About 15,000 Years Earlier than Previously Thought: Study

Researchers were also able to retrieve several tools in three different layers of sediment, including an ax, the oldest-known grindstone in Australia, and some early paints showing the oldest-known use of minerals

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Madjedbebe rockshelter
Madjedbebe rockshelter, Australia during the 2015 excavation. Wikimedia
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  • The first settlers of Australia reached the continent 65,000 years ago, about 15,000 years earlier than experts previously thought
  • The archaeologists made the conclusion following an excavation at the Madjedbebe rock shelter near Kakadu National Park in northern Australia
  • The latest research included new techniques of analysis, like luminescence dating

Canberra, July 23, 2017: The first settlers of Australia reached the continent 65,000 years ago, about 15,000 years earlier than experts previously thought, a new archaeological study revealed on Thursday.

The archaeologists made the conclusion following an excavation at the Madjedbebe rock shelter near Kakadu National Park in northern Australia, one of the most important archaeological sites in the region known for its early rock paintings, reports Efe news.

The site was last excavated nearly 30 years ago by a group of archaeologists, who suggested that the site was between 50,000 and 60,000 years old, considered to be one of the first human settlements in Australia. Between 2012 and 2015, archaeologists returned to the site to conduct new excavations.

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The latest research included new techniques of analysis, like luminescence dating – which can determine when single grains of sand were last exposed to sunlight – allowing the research team to verify the age of the sediment surrounding the objects.

Researchers were also able to retrieve several tools in three different layers of sediment, including an ax, the oldest-known grindstone in Australia, and some early paints showing the oldest-known use of minerals.

“We found there was an incredible richness of evidence of wonderful human behaviour that we didn’t really have indications of from earlier excavations,” said Chris Clarkson, project leader from the University of Queensland.

Clarkson noted that the findings of his research, published on Thursday by the journal Nature, indicated a solid cultural continuity at the site across thousands of years. The archaeologist added that this discovery could also contribute to a better understanding of humans’ migration from Africa to Southeast Asia. (IANS)

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Archaeologists Excavate 800-year-old city wall in China

These were confirmed as dating to the period between 1127 and 1912 when the Southern Song Dynasty and later the Qing Dynasty was in power

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city wall
More than 300 relics and evidence that a complete defense system existed at the time have been unearthed in China (Representative image) Wikimedia

Beijing, October 15, 2017 : Archaeologists have excavated 800-year-old city walls and gates in China’s Chongqing. More than 300 relics and evidence that a complete defense system existed at the time have been unearthed.

A township in Fengjie county’s Baidi was once a very important military fortress. The archaeological dig launched at the site in February discovered the ruins, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the first six months, 20 sections of the city wall, gates, defence towers and armouries were found.

These were confirmed as dating to the period between 1127 and 1912 when the Southern Song Dynasty and later the Qing Dynasty was in power.

Over 300 relics, mainly iron weapons and some ceramic, copper and stone artifacts, have also been unearthed, Chongqing Cultural Heritage Research Institute said.

The project also identified the layout of Baidi. Other sites discovered outside the town have shown that a complete defence system existed at that time, archaeologists said.

The Cultural Heritage Research Institute of Chongqing and the Cultural Relic Management Office of Fengjie jointly conducted the excavations. (IANS)

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