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21 January 2020
Australia wildfires reveal ancient aquaculture system

Australia's wildfires have revealed an ancient aquaculture system built by indigenous people which is thought to date back to 4,600 BCE.
     The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is situated south-west of Victoria and features an elaborate series of stone-lined channels and pools set up by the Gunditjmara people to harvest eels. As of 2019, the site was added to the Unesco World Heritage List. Some parts of the elaborate system also shows evidence of stone dwellings dating to around 6,600 years ago.
     But after a bushfire which was sparked in December, extra sites were spotted that were previously hidden under vegetation. The sites are also believed to be part of the aquaculture system.
     Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation project manager, Denis Rose, said he was unconcerned about how the fire when it first broke out would affect the system. He added: "There have certainly been many fires here in the thousands of years prior. Our major concern was the effect after the fire, and we've still got some work to do there.
     A new survey will take place in light of the discovery with archaeologists working alongside indigenous rangers as well as aerial photography using specialised software.

Edited from The Independent (19 January 2020)

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