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Australian indigenous leaders meet for historic summit

Hundreds of indigenous leaders have gathered in central Australia for a historic summit on formally recognising the country's first inhabitants.
The three-day summit at Uluru coincides with the 50th anniversary of a vote that allowed indigenous Australians to be included on a national census.
Australia does not mention Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in its constitution.
The summit aims to reach consensus on the best method of recognition.

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DNA confirms Aboriginal people have a long-lasting connection to country

The discovery is based on analysis of mitochondrial DNA found in hair samples taken from Aboriginal people during expeditions run between 1928 and the 1970s.
The DNA analysis, published today in Nature, again confirms modern Aboriginal Australians are descended from one founding population that arrived about 50,000 years ago when the continent was still connected to New Guinea.

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Oldest known evidence of Aboriginal settlement in arid Australia found in Flinders Ranges rock shelter

The chance discovery of a rock shelter in the Flinders Ranges has unearthed one of the most important prehistoric sites in Australia.
The site, known as Warratyi, shows Aboriginal Australians settled the arid interior of the country around 49,000 years ago - some 10,000 years earlier than previously thought.

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Rock shelter used by speedy early Australians

The speed at which the first Aboriginal settlers spread across Australia has been underlined by the discovery of an ancient rock shelter north of Adelaide.
The rock fissure in the Flinders Ranges contains tools and other artefacts that date back to around 49,000 years ago.
That means Aboriginal people must have colonised large parts of the continent within a few millennia of their arrival.

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World-first genome study reveals rich history of Aboriginal Australians

The most comprehensive genomic study of Indigenous Australians to date has revealed modern humans are all descendants of a single wave of migrants who left Africa around 72,000 years ago.
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Giant killer lizard fossil shines new light on early Australians

As if life wasnt hard enough during the last Ice Age, research led by the University of Queensland has found Australias first human inhabitants had to contend with giant killer lizards.
UQ vertebrate palaeoecologist Dr Gilbert Price said researchers working in Central Queensland were amazed when they unearthed the first evidence that Australias early human inhabitants and giant apex predator lizards had overlapped.

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Aboriginal legends reveal ancient secrets to science

Scientists are beginning to tap into a wellspring of knowledge buried in the ancient stories of Australia's Aboriginal peoples. But the loss of indigenous languages could mean it is too late to learn from them.
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Archaeological cave dig unearths artefacts from 45,000 years ago

An archeological dig has revealed artefacts of early occupation so old they rival the dates of those found at sites of the earliest human settlement in Australia.
The discovery of the artefacts of animal bone and charcoal at the Ganga Maya Cave (named by traditional owners meaning 'house on the hill') in the Pilbara region of Western Australia are the subject of a scientific paper not yet submitted to archaeological journals.

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Title: Australian Aboriginal Astronomy: Overview
Authors: Ray P. Norris, Duane W. Hamacher

The traditional cultures of Aboriginal Australians include a significant astronomical component, perpetuated through oral tradition, ceremony, and art. This astronomical component includes a deep understanding of the motion of objects in the sky, and this knowledge was used for practical purposes, such as constructing calendars. There is also evidence that traditional Aboriginal Australians made careful records and measurements of cyclical phenomena, paid careful attention to unexpected phenomena such as eclipses and meteorite impacts, and could determine the cardinal points to an accuracy of a few degrees.

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1000-year-old coins found in Northern Territory may rewrite Australian history

Five copper coins and a nearly 70-year-old map with an "X" might lead to a discovery that could rewrite Australia's history.
Australian scientist Ian McIntosh, currently Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University in the US, is planning an expedition in July that has stirred up the archaeological community.
McIntosh and his team of Australian and American historians, archaeologists, geomorphologists and Aboriginal rangers say that the five coins date back to the 900s to 1300s.
They are African coins from the former Kilwa sultanate, now a World Heritage ruin on an island off Tanzania.
Kilwa once was a flourishing trade port with links to India in the 13th to 16th century. The trade with gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabian stone ware, Persian ceramics and Chinese porcelain made the city one of the most influential towns in East Africa at the time.
The copper coins were the first coins ever produced in sub-Saharan Africa and according to McIntosh have only twice been found outside Africa: once in Oman and Isenberg's find in 1944.

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