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12 August 2007
40,000-year-old site discovered in Australia

Archaeologists have discovered that an ancient occupation site in north-west Victoria (Australia) 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. "Anybody who knows anything in our communities recognises this place here as a meeting place and as a place that is relevant to all the tribes around here," he said.
     Archaeologist Tom Richards said the site could one day rival Lake Mungo in New South Wales for its cultural and scientific importance. "Certainly it has demonstrated that the Victorian mallee has human occupation going back at least 30,000 years, probably past 40,000 years," he said. "If we've got one site that's away from the Murray River out in the mallee, there's bound to be more, many more."

Source: ABC Net.au (12 August 2007)

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