Kathy Marks in Sydney, Australia - It was an extraordinary find: three million Aboriginal artefacts dating back more than 40,000 years, uncovered beneath a nondescript and overlooked grassy floodplain by a Tasmanian river.
Archaeologists believe the treasure trove, found at what was obviously an important meeting-place for local tribes, is the oldest evidence of human habitation in the southern hemisphere. It offers, says one eminent expert, Rob Paton, “a glimpse into an unknown part of world history”.
But the site, by the Jordan River, on the outskirts of Hobart, is under threat from a bridge due to be built as part of a new highway. The state government is resisting calls to re-route the road, and – despite protests from conservationists and Aboriginal groups – is expected to grant approval for the bridge.
The state government claims the project will not disturb the site, described in a recent report as of “extremely high scientific significance”. But opponents hope the federal government will step in to protect the site.
Archaeologists say that the tools, stones and spear tips found during a dig – ordered after concerns were raised about the bridge – could rewrite Aboriginal history in Tasmania and Australia. ...
via Aborigines fear new road is a bridge too far for historic site - Herald Scotland | News | World News.
Image from this related story:
The world's oldest crayon? The discovery of a stick of red ochre, a kind of mineral, in Australia has been dated to 70,000 years ago. If this date is confirmed by more testing, it would show people were living in Australia at least 30,000 years earlier than previously thought. It is not known if the ochre was used to make wall pictures, of if it was used to decorate the human body, but it must have had some artistic purpose.
The oldest battle: a rock painting in Australia, dated to between 12,000 to 11,000 years ago, according to some theories, shows a fight between two organized groups of warriors. If this is correct, this would make the painting the oldest record of organized warfare found in the world so far. ...