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People may have lived in Australia for 120,000 years—twice as long as we thought

| | April 23, 2019

Extensive archaeological research in southern Victoria has again raised the prospect that people have lived in Australia for 120,000 years – twice as long as the broadly accepted period of human continental habitation.

The new research at Moyjil (Point Ritchie), at the mouth of the Hopkins River at Warrnambool, south-east Victoria, relates to the presence of fire, small black stones and scattered shell middens around steep cliffs.

“In the absence of bones, stone flakes or any independent trace of people, the notion of occupation at 120 ka currently remains difficult to credit. However, marine shells, stones in unexplained depositional context and fire resemblance to hearth, successively diminish the possibility of a natural explanation. That absence leaves the currently unlikely option of human agency as the most likely alternative,” [the researchers wrote.]

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While still tentative and very cautious in its conclusions and accepted implications, the archaeological research at Moyjil points to the possibility of an Aboriginal connection to country that stretches to twice that of the accepted 60 millennia, which already renders Indigenous continental occupation the longest continuous civilisation on Earth.

Read full, original post: ‘A big jump’: People might have lived in Australia twice as long as we thought

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