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8 December 2003
Ancient cave art found in Tasmania

Aboriginal rock art believed to date back some 11,000 years has been discovered in a cave in Tasmania's south-west (Australia). Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council manager Brian Mansell today said the cave containing about 35 paintings was first discovered by a group undertaking work for forestry in November last year. However, the find had been kept secret for fear unwanted visitors would try to access the site.
     Mr Mansell said the cave, which was within a forestry coupe earmarked for logging, contained red ochre handprints and was probably used for ceremonial purposes. "We estimate it (the art) is about 11,000 years old," he said. "It is an extremely sensitive and fragile site and we have kept the location secret mainly because it is too accessible." he added.
     Mr Mansell said the council was working on a report on how best to protect the site, which was about 10km from the border of the Southwest World Heritage Area.

Source: The Australian (5 December 2003)

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