History

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4,000

  1. Research indicates that humans migrated to Australia from India [1], bringing with them different tool-making techniques such as microliths (small stone tools that formed the tips of weapons), and the Dingo, which most closely resembles Indian dogs.

400,000

  1. Mitochondrial DNA puts the origin of Homo Sapiens much further back and indicates that Australian Aboriginal people arose 400,000 years ago from two distinct lineages, far earlier than any other racial group. [2]

43,000

  1. The oldest dated art in Europe is 40,800 years old and was found in the El Castillo cave in Spain. It contains many red hand stencils, similar to stencils found in Australia.

  2. Age of ‘Mungo Man’ (also known as Lake Mungo 3 human remains, or LM3), a hunter gatherer who lived in western NSW. His skeleton is the oldest known remains in Australia. Named after Lake Mungo National Park, NSW, 987 km west of Sydney, where his remains were found. Footprints discovered at Lake Mungo are believed to be 23,000 years old.

    Sign: Lake Mungo
    Lake Mungo, New South Wales. Ancient camp sites have been found in this area.

45,000

  1. Rock engravings made in South Australia - the earliest dated petroglyphs.

  2. Research by the Australian National University suggests the most likely route taken by the first people to come to Australia was from southeast Asia to the Australian mainland. It identifies the least-cost route as going from Borneo to Sulawesi and through a series of smaller islands to Misool Island off the coast of West Papua. It follows roughly the same path as the northern route described by US anthropologist Joseph Birdsell in 1977. Proof for that route is still lacking because the islands along Birdsell’s northern route have received comparatively little archaeological attention due to isolation, expense, and political conflict in West Papua." [3]

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.” [4]

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. [5]

    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 [5]

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. A study, published in the Quaternary Science Reviews, estimates migration to the bridge of islands off north-west Australia occurred between about 50,000 and 65,000 years ago when the sea was 75 metres lower and the islands visible. Using wind and ocean current modelling, the experts also show that Aboriginal settlement is a result of large-scale migration by skilled maritime explorers and no accident. [6]

  2. Age of an axe-grinding stone found at Aboriginal campsite Madjedbebe, within the Jabiluka uranium mining lease in Kakadu National Park, NT. [7] 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 [8].

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.[9]

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. [10]

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.

References

View article sources (10)

[1] 'Genomes link aboriginal Australians to Indians', nature.com 14/1/2013. Some Aboriginal Australians can trace as much as 11% of their genomes to India.
[2] 'Homo sapien sapiens originated in Australia, not ‘out-of-Africa’ – DNA evidence', The Stringer 18/12/2013
[3] 'First humans to reach Australia likely island-hopped to New Guinea then walked – study', The Guardian 31/10/2018
[4] 'Astounding archaeology discovery places inland human occupation of Australia at 49,000 years', SMH 3/11/2016
[5] [5a] 'Aboriginal DNA study reveals 50,000-year story of sacred ties to land', The Guardian 9/3/2017
[6] 'Aboriginal settlement in Australia was planned migration: study', SMH 21/5/2018
[7] 'Australia's oldest human technology emerges from 65,000 hidden years', SMH 20/7/2017
[8] 'Owners fight to protect country', Koori Mail 424 p.10
[9] 'World-first genome study reveals rich history of Aboriginal Australians', ABC News 22/9/2016
[10] ''We've found the missing 20,000 years': crucial piece in human migration puzzle', SMH 20/8/2017

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=49>, retrieved 14 November 2019

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