History

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49,000

  1. Archaeologists find the earliest known use of ochre in Australia and south-east Asia and bone fragments of extinct megafauna, including the diprotodon, at the Warratyi rock shelter in the northern Flinders Ranges, SA, in the traditional lands of the Adnyamathanha people. “The idea there was no interaction between humans and megafauna has really been put to bed by the Warratyi evidence.” [1]

5,000

  1. Coastline of Australia takes its present form. Rottnest Island (off Perth, WA), previously connected to mainland Australia, becomes an island.

    Rottnest Island, WA
    Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Aboriginal people saw the island when it was still connected to the mainland. Photo: Zsuzsanna Kilian, sxc.hu
  2. Occupation site, Penrith Lakes (about 50 kms west of Sydney), NSW.

  3. Settlement of Pacific Islands.

50,000

  1. A study of ancient Aboriginal hair samples reveals distinct Aboriginal populations were present in Australia with little geographical movement for up to 50,000 years. The research found that Aboriginal people are the descendants of a single founding population that arrived in Australia 50,000 years ago, while Australia was still connected to New Guinea. Populations then spread rapidly – within 1,500 to 2,000 years – around the east and west coasts, meeting somewhere in South Australia. [2]

    Clearly the environment did change significantly but nevertheless they were able to survive in one area with a fixed set of resources for up to 50,000 years. Nowhere else in world have humans been able to demonstrate an ability to do that. — Prof Alan Cooper, research project leader [2]

56,000

  1. Archaeological evidence suggests that a rock shelter was used by people at a site in Arnhem Land (400 kms east of Darwin) in the Northern Territory. They used stone tools and red ochre probably to prepare pigments for rock painting or body decoration.

  2. Suggested age of two north Australian sites (Nauwalabila and Malakunanja, about 300 kms east of Darwin).

65,000

  1. Age of an axe-grinding stone found at Aboriginal campsite Madjedbebe, within the Jabiluka uranium mining lease in Kakadu National Park, NT. [3] The stone is considered to be the oldest confirmed evidence of the occupation of Australia – for now.

68,000

  1. Estimated time of the arrival of Aboriginal people in Australia in 2008 [4].

72,000

  1. Aboriginal and Papuan ancestors leave Africa, reaching the supercontinent of 'Sahul' that originally united Tasmania, Australia and New Guinea around 50,000 years ago.[5]

73,000

  1. Upper range for the age of teeth found at Lida Ajer cave in the Padang Highlands of Sumatra, Indonesia, supporting the dominant theory that Homo sapiens migrated from Africa around 100,000 years ago and then spread through Asia, reaching also Australia. [6]

8,000

  1. The Torres Strait Islands are formed when the land bridge between Australia and New Guinea is submerged by rising seas.

  2. Earliest visible evidence of Aboriginal belief connected with the rainbow Serpent. This becomes the longest continuing belief in the world.

80,000

  1. Possible age of artefacts found at the Madjedbebe rock shelter, Kakadu National Park (NT) in 2017 [7].

References

View article sources (7)

[1] 'Astounding archaeology discovery places inland human occupation of Australia at 49,000 years', SMH 3/11/2016
[2] [2a] 'Aboriginal DNA study reveals 50,000-year story of sacred ties to land', The Guardian 9/3/2017
[3] 'Australia's oldest human technology emerges from 65,000 hidden years', SMH 20/7/2017
[4] 'Owners fight to protect country', Koori Mail 424 p.10
[5] 'World-first genome study reveals rich history of Aboriginal Australians', ABC News 22/9/2016
[6] ''We've found the missing 20,000 years': crucial piece in human migration puzzle', SMH 20/8/2017
[7] 'Australian dig finds evidence of Aboriginal habitation up to 80,000 years ago', The Guardian Australia, 20/7/2017

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=48>, retrieved 24 May 2019

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