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TOPIC: The First Australians


L

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Sahul Time
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Sea level around Australia and Asia around 20,000 years ago during the last iceage.

Sealevel_2
Sahul time

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L

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RE: The First Australians
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A limestone cave on the island of Tasmania has yielded tool fragments and other forms of evidence that documents human occupation at least 15,000 to 20,000 years before present. It is thought to be one of Australias richest archaeological sites.

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A cache of charcoal, stone tools and artefacts unearthed to make way for a high-rise apartment block has been found to be 30,000 years old, more than doubling the accepted age of Aboriginal settlement in Sydney.
The discovery, to be presented to an archaeological conference opening at the University of Sydney next weekend, was the result of a dig originally set up to search for signs of convict era occupation.
It is the oldest evidence yet found of humans occupying what is now metropolitan Sydney. Aboriginal burial sites at Lake Mungo, in south-western NSW, have been dated at 40,000 years, The archaeologist who led the dig, Jo McDonald, said the previous oldest evidence of human habitation around Sydney had been found in the Blue Mountains (14,700 years), at Kurnell (12,500), and near the old Tempe House on the Cooks River (10,700).

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Archaeologists  have discovered underwater caves on the Sydney coastline that are expected to provide new insights into human life on our shores more than 6000 years ago.
Research will be presented at a conference this month that pinpoints the submerged caves, which experts believe were once rock shelters on dry land.
A team of archaeologists believes further exploration of the "drowned" sites around Port Hacking, within the Royal National Park, will reveal preserved tools and other artefacts used by the area's pre-European inhabitants.

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Box Gully site
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Archaeologists have discovered that an ancient occupation site in north-west Victoria is much older than first thought.
Tests on charcoal and stone fragments found in Box Gully, near Lake Tyrell, confirm the site was occupied 44,000 years ago.
This would make the gully the oldest Indigenous site in Victoria, and one of the oldest in Australia - a finding welcomed by Tati Tati traditional owner Brendan Kennedy.

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Aborigines
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Aborigines could be banned from buying pornography and alcohol under new powers to protect children, Australian prime minister John Howard announced.
The new proposals follow a report last week which found that child sex abuse was rampant among indigenous groups in the Northern Territory.
The study blamed high levels of alcohol and poverty for the situation which Mr Howard described as 'a national emergency'.

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Spanish presence on Stradbroke Island
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The mystery of a galleon believed to be buried in a North Stradbroke Island swamp could be solved within months.
For a century, rumours have circulated that the remains of a 16th or 17th-century Spanish or Portuguese vessel lie in the snake-infested 18 Mile Swamp at the southern end of the Moreton Bay island.
Tales persist of Aborigines finding gold coins and amateur explorers stripping the ship of its anchor, fastenings and planks.

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L

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Kutikina Cave
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They were the most southerly dwelling people on the planet during the last ice age, and life was tough.
In winter the temperature outside their rock shelter in south-western Tasmania plummeted to 15 degrees below zero. Summers were cool and short. The terrain was rugged.
But new research shows these Aboriginal people were great survivors, getting their strength from the meat and bone marrow of wallabies, possibly with an occasional wombat brain.
A La Trobe University archaeologist, Jillian Garvey, sorted more than 250,000 animal bone fragments from Kutikina Cave on the Franklin River, where the hunters lived between 15,000 and 20,000 years ago, to build a picture of their prehistoric lifestyle.
It showed they were well adapted to the harsh conditions, she said.

"They were very much in tune with their environment."

The discovery 30 years ago of Kutikina Cave, one of the richest archaeological sites in Australia, was an important factor in the 1983 High Court decision to ban work on the Gordon-below-Franklin dam, which would have flooded it. Other shelters were later found nearby revealing the area was first inhabited at least 35,000 years ago.

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RE: The First Australians
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A 20-year campaign to repatriate the remains of Aborigines in European museums has resulted in London's Natural History Museum agreeing to return bones it has held for more than 100 years, officials in Canberra said Saturday.
The remains of 17 individuals will be turned over to Aboriginal representatives for burial in the island state of Tasmania.
It is estimated that the remains of 2,500 Aborigines are current being held in foreign institutions. Around 200 have been repatriated in the past decade.

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Australia has always been a remote place, and getting there today is no easy task. Fifty thousand years ago, the trek was even trickier: The first human visitors had to navigate 60 kilometers of open ocean just to reach the continent. The journey appears to have been so difficult, in fact, that--according to new research--the ancestors of Australia's first settlers had no contact with the outside world for tens of thousands of years.

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