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  1. Archaeologists in 2020 found ancient banana farms on Mabuyag Island, once managed by Torres Strait Islanders, dating back 2,145 years. They unearthed banana microfossils, stone tools, charcoal and a series of retaining walls. The findings strengthen the theory that the Islanders engaged in complex and diverse cultivation and horticultural practices.

13,000

  1. Land bridges between mainland Australia and Tasmania are flooded. Tasmanian Aboriginal people become isolated for the next 12,000 - 13,000 years.

  2. At Kow Swamp near Cohuna, 230 kms north of Melbourne, Victoria, Aboriginal people weare kangaroo teeth headbands similar to those worn by men and women in the Central Desert in the 19th century.

16,000

  1. Hearths, stone and bone tools, Shaws Creek near Yarramundi (60 kms north-west from Sydney), NSW.

  2. Sea levels begin to rise as ice caps melt. Inland lakes such as Lake Mungo have dried up.

17,300

  1. Scientists confirmed that a painting of a kangaroo in a sandstone rock shelter near the Drysdale River, in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region, is about 17,300 years old, making it the oldest known rock art in Australia.

18,000

  1. Art at Ubirr in Kakadu National Park (Northern Territory, 300 kms east of Darwin) depicts now extinct animals, the Thylacine (Tasmanian tiger), and Zaglossus (the long-beaked echidna).

  2. Harvesting grass seeds is integral to Aboriginal socio-economic life on the large grasslands. The seeds were ground and baked or roasted and eaten whole.

20,000

  1. Aboriginal people were dispersed across the entire continent, occupying places as remote as rock shelters on the Franklin River in south-west Tasmania and at Birrigai in the ranges of the Australian Capital Territory, which surrounds Canberra, the national capital.

  2. Some 10% of Tasmania is covered by glacial ice. Kutikina Cave on the Franklin River is occupied by Tasmanian Aboriginal people at the height of the last ice age.

22,000

  1. In deep caves under the Nullarbor Plains at Koonalda (at the western edge of South Australia, about 50 kms from the ocean), Aboriginal people mine flint and leave grooved designs on the cave walls. This is early evidence of the close relationship of art and work in Aboriginal life.

  2. Aboriginal people living at Malangangarr in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, use ground-edge grooved axes. Australian technology leads the world.

  3. Age of a rock-shelter on the Kings Tableland near Wentworth Falls, NSW.

    Wentworth Falls, NSW
    Wentworth Falls, New South Wales. An occupation site has been found in this area dated 22,000 years old.

26,000

  1. Age of bones found in sediment at the Willandra Lakes Region of far western NSW.

  2. The body of a woman from Lake Mungo provides the earliest evidence in the world of ritual cremation. The body is prepared with ochre before cremation.

28,000

  1. Age of a charcoal drawing found at Narwala Gabarnmung, in the Northern Territory, assumed to be Australia’s oldest known rock art specimen and one of the earliest examples of human art on the planet . The art was only found in 2012. Because it was made with charcoal, radiocarbon dating could be used to determine its age with a higher degree of confidence.

30,000

  1. Aboriginal people were living around the now extinct lakes of the Willandra Lakes system. Evidence shows signs of spiritual and creative life and technology linked to much later Aboriginal culture.

  2. Devils’ Lair in southernmost Western Australia is home to Aboriginal people who leave bone tool artefacts, including unique bone-beads of split-pointed macropod shin bones. The cave is occupied from this time to 6,000 BP.

  3. Oldest evidence of bread making in the world at Cuddy Springs (ancient lake located between Marra Creek and Macquarie River, near Carinda, western NSW).

  4. A man from the Lake Mungo area (south-west NSW) is buried in a shallow grave. His forearm bones are stained pink from ochre. This is one of the earliest known burials of a distinctly modern people.

References

View article sources (2)

[1] 'Indigenous Australians 'farmed bananas 2,000 years ago'', BBC News 12/8/2020
[2] 'Kiwi finds 28,000 year old painting', The New Zealand Herald, 19/6/2012

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2021, Timeline results for , <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/timeline/searchResults?page=51>, retrieved 24 April 2021

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