Category Archives: AUSTRALIA

Aboriginal Artwork In The Kimberley Could Be Among Oldest In The World, Scientists Say

Aboriginal Artwork In The Kimberley Could Be Among Oldest In The World, Scientists Say

Archaeologists and Aboriginal elders are hoping the most comprehensive study of rock art in the Kimberley region will confirm the images are among the oldest made by humans anywhere in the world.  More than a dozen scientists took part in two field trips to study remote faces in Dambimangari and Balanggarra country.

Aboriginal Artwork In The Kimberley Could Be Among Oldest In The World, Scientists Say
Scientists hope they can establish the age of rock art in the Kimberley

They used pioneering techniques to collect and analyse hundreds of samples to narrow down the timeframes in which the striking images of people, animals and shells were made. Professor Peter Veth, from the University of Western Australia, said they were expecting to have the first results through by the end of the year.

“We expect some of those dates to be old, and some of them will be extremely old,” he said.

“We believe that this art will be as old, if not older, than that art in Europe, and that will make the Kimberley and all of its art, with its living, cultural connections, of world significance.”

Establishing firm dates for rock art is notoriously difficult, but dates of around 40,000 years have been recorded for images in Indonesia and Spain. In Australia, dating has been relatively limited, but dates of between 13,000 to 15,000 years old have been recorded in Queensland and up to 28,000 years in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

Given that Aboriginal people are believed to have arrived in northern Australia up to 50,000 years ago, Professor Veth said there was potential for older dates to emerge. Professor Veth said the Kimberley region had one of the most diverse and abundant collections of Indigenous rock art in Australia.

Aboriginal people are thought to have arrived in northern Australia up to 50,000 years ago

“There are probably no reliable dates for the Kimberley, and yet here is one of the largest rock art galleries in the world, and probably the earliest concentration of figurative art anywhere in the world,” he said.

“We’re literally on the cusp now of dating it properly now, with all these different techniques, for the first time, so it’s incredibly exciting … it’s a bit of a cyclonic event.

“I think there will be surprises, things we totally don’t expect.”

The team used several different dating techniques on each painting to come up with the most reliable set of dates possible.

Their focus was on analysing the tiny samples of material taken from both under and on top of the painting, to narrow down the period in which it was created. It was a painstaking process for scientists like Helen Green, from the University of Melbourne.

The geologist pioneered a technique to date tiny crusts of dirt that form over an image in the hundreds, or thousands of years since it was created.

Indigenous rangers accompanied scientists to ensure nothing was damaged during the testing phase

“We can see where a crust has formed over the squiggles of pigment, so we can use a small chisel to chip off a little piece,” she said.

“It will let us know that the art underneath that is older than the age that we get for that crust.”

She said she was now in lockdown at the university’s laboratories processing hundreds of tiny samples.

“You’re just really eager once you’ve collected all the samples to get in the lab and get the results, so yes it’s a really exciting time for us,” Ms Green said.

Watching closely are the Dambimangari and Balanggarra people.

Members of their ranger groups accompanied the researchers on their field trips to learn more about their sacred sites and ensure they were not damaged.

For young Balanggarra ranger Scott Unhango, the field trip was the first opportunity he had to visit rock art sites he had heard about in stories.

“I find it … interesting,” he said. “The powerful men, the great leaders, put these paintings on these walls and rocks.”

“When you come out here, you can sit down and listen and learn from our people and others, throughout the Kimberley … listen [to] what they got to tell you, and how important the stories are and the land and the people.”

For many elders, pinpointing creation dates for their art is of little concern. Elders like Balanggarra man Augustine Unhango have their own deeply felt understanding of how and when the images were made. But he said he recognised the value in documenting the rock art sites for posterity.

“It’s good to be teaching our kids as they’re growing up about the sacred places and the rock art, and to keep track of our sacred sites.”

An Egyptian Pyramid In Australia? Archaeologists Claim Massive Structure Dates Back 5,000 Years

An Egyptian Pyramid In Australia? Archaeologists Claim Massive Structure Dates Back 5,000 Years

An archaeologist believes that there’s a MASSIVE 900-meter tall pyramid hidden in plain sight beneath thick layers of vegetation and soil in Australia.

The structure is believed to date back some 5,000 years. Pyramids are scattered all across the globe. No matter where we look, ancient cultures built marvellous ancient structures across the planet, with the most notorious monument being the Great Pyramid of Giza, an ancient wonder of engineering still standing today after thousands of years.

Now, a group of amateur archaeologists from Australia claims that before Australia was visited by the Europeans — in fact, thousands of years before that, I might add — the ancient Egyptians visited the mainland of Australia and even built Pyramids there.

According to a set of Hieroglyphs found in Gosford, there are TWO pyramids in Australia – one at Gympie (pictured) here, which has been demolished, and another one which still stands today.

As outrageous as this may sound to many, according to a group of researchers, more than 5000 years after ancient Egyptians made their way to Australia, it is believed that a Pyramid built under a mountain in North Queensland has been discovered.

The group claims that ‘Walsh’s Pyramid’, located some 30 minutes west of the popular Australian coastal city, stands a staggering 922 meters in height.

The Pyramid is said to be the final resting place of Egyptian Royal Lord Nefer-ti-ru, according to the group. And exactly where most people see only a massive Pyramid-shaped hill is where the vivid group of archaeologists sees more than what initially meets the eye.

Evidence of their claims is supported by the curious “Gosford Glyphs,” a set of strange carvings that according to many researchers are Egyptian in nature.

Located in the vicinity of Sydney, the intricate carvings are believed to be thousands of years old and were carved by ancient Egyptian sailors when they discovered the Australian continent, some 5,000 years ago.

These are the Gosford Glyphs.

These curious sets of hieroglyphs are referred to as the Kariong Hieroglyphs due to the fact they are located in the Brisbane Water National Park, Kariong, and also called the Gosford Glyphs due to the nearby community of Gosford can be seen in New South Wales.

But countless controversies surround the alleged hieroglyphs.

Numerous archaeologists have made it clear that the Gosford Glyphs are nothing more than a modern forgery, and how it’s IMPOSSIBLE that the ancient Egyptians made their way to Australia and carved the curious set of symbols on the side of a massive rock, let alone build pyramids.

As we wrote previously, is said that amateur archaeologist Ray Johnson supposedly translated the alleged glyphs for the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo and was successful in documenting and translating the two-facing walls of Egyptian characters.

The translation of the Gosford Glyphs supposedly records the story of a tragic saga of ancient Egyptian explorers that shipwrecked in a strange and hostile land — now known as Australia.

Anyway, returning back to the Pyramid in Australia, Ray Johnson is convinced how the enigmatic set of hieroglyphs at Gosford undoubtedly points out how Lord Nefer-ti-ru, a former member of the ancient Egyptian Royal Family is buried at the site.

Furthermore, Johnson is convinced how the Gosford Glyphs tell the story of how ancient Egyptian sailors built TWO Pyramids in Australia, one of which was said to be found at Gympie, in central Queensland.

This is the alleged Pyramid in Australia, rising a staggering 900 meters in the air. The Pyramid (pictured), is located outside Cairns in north Queensland.
An Egyptian Pyramid In Australia? Archaeologists Claim Massive Structure Dates Back 5,000 Years
The alleged Gympie Pyramid

It was eventually demolished leaving the whereabouts of the other Pyramid an enigma all until now.

Mr. Johnson believes that the second Pyramid is in fact located beneath thick layers of soil, hidden away from sight, remaining unperceived for thousands of years. Despite the fact that the “hieroglyphs” point to the existence of a Pyramid located in the Area, the site in question — located at the Wooroonooran National Park — has never been researched.

This is mostly due to the fact that experts consider the location where Johnson believes the Pyramid is located a Natural granite peak.

However, archaeologists are convinced that this pyramid could be similar to the one discovered buried beneath thick layers of soil and vegetation in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina (also read this update from a field geologist at Visoko).

However, mainstream scholars reject the notion there’s a Pyramid in Australia — let alone two — and that the mountain where said structure is supposedly located, only ‘appears to be the shape of a pyramidal structure’.

First Australians ate giant eggs of huge flightless birds, ancient proteins confirm

First Australians ate giant eggs of huge flightless birds, ancient proteins confirm

Proteins extracted from fragments of prehistoric eggshells found in the Australian sands confirm that the continent’s earliest humans consumed the eggs of a two-metre tall bird that disappeared into extinction over 47,000 years ago. 

Detail from an illustration of Genyornis being chased from its nest by a Megalania lizard in prehistoric Australia. .

Burn marks discovered on scraps of ancient shell several years ago suggested the first Australians cooked and ate large eggs from a long-extinct bird – leading to fierce debate over the species that laid them. 

Now, an international team led by scientists from the universities of Cambridge and Turin have placed the animal on the evolutionary tree by comparing the protein sequences from powdered egg fossils to those encoded in the genomes of living avian species.  

“Time, temperature and the chemistry of a fossil all dictate how much information we can glean,” said senior co-author Prof Matthew Collins from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Archaeology. 

“Eggshells are made of mineral crystals that can tightly trap some proteins, preserving this biological data in the harshest of environments – potentially for millions of years”    

Prof Matthew Collins 

According to findings published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the ancient eggs came from Genyornis: a huge flightless “mihirung” – or ‘Thunder Bird’ – with tiny wings and massive legs that roamed prehistoric Australia, possibly in flocks.  

Fossil records show that Genyornis stood over two metres tall, weighed between 220-240 kilograms, and laid melon-sized eggs of around 1.5 kg. It was among the Australian “mega-fauna” to vanish a few thousand years after humans arrived, suggesting people played a role in its extinction.  

Pencil sketch of a Genyornis by Nobu Tamura.

The earliest “robust” date for the arrival of humans to Australia is some 65,000 years ago.

Burnt eggshells from the previously unconfirmed species all date to around 50 to 55 thousand years ago – not long before Genyornis is thought to have gone extinct – by which time humans had spread across most of the continent.  

“There is no evidence of Genyornis butchery in the archaeological record. However, eggshell fragments with unique burn patterns consistent with human activity have been found at different places across the continent,” said senior co-author Prof Gifford Miller from the University of Colorado.

“This implies that the first humans did not necessarily hunt these enormous birds, but did routinely raid nests and steal their giant eggs for food,” he said. “Overexploitation of the eggs by humans may well have contributed to Genyornis extinction.”

While Genyornis was always a contender for the mystery egg-layer, some scientists argued that – due to shell shape and thickness – a more likely candidate was the Progura or ‘giant malleefowl’: another extinct bird, much smaller, weighing around 5-7 kg and akin to a large turkey. 

The initial ambition was to put the debate to bed by pulling ancient DNA from pieces of shell, but genetic material had not sufficiently survived the hot Australian climate.

Miller turned to researchers at Cambridge and Turin to explore a relatively new technique for extracting a different type of “biomolecule”: protein.

Genyornis eggshell recently exposed by wind erosion of sand dune in which it was buried, South Australia.

While not as rich in hereditary data, the scientists were able to compare the sequences in ancient proteins to those of living species using a vast new database of biological material: the Bird 10,000 Genomes (B10K) project.    

“The Progura was related to today’s megapodes, a group of birds in the galliform lineage, which also contains ground-feeders such as chickens and turkeys,” said study first author Prof Beatrice Demarchi from the University of Turin.

“We found that the bird responsible for the mystery eggs emerged prior to the galliform lineage, enabling us to rule out the Progura hypothesis. This supports the implication that the eggs eaten by early Australians were laid by Genyornis.”

The 50,000-year-old eggshell tested for the study came from the archaeological site of Wood Point in South Australia, but Prof Miller has previously shown that similar burnt shells can be found at hundreds of sites on the far western Ningaloo coast. 

The researchers point out that the Genyornis egg exploitation behaviour of the first Australians likely mirrors that of early humans with ostrich eggs, the shells of which have been unearthed at archaeological sites across Africa dating back at least 100,000 years. 

Prof Collins added: “While ostriches and humans have co-existed throughout prehistory, the levels of exploitation of Genyornis eggs by early Australians may have ultimately proved more than the reproductive strategies of these extraordinary birds could bear.”   

A new study shows how diet has transformed the ancient dog into a family pet

A new study shows how diet has transformed the ancient dog into a family pet

The shape of the mandible (the lower jaw) is influenced by the mechanical action of the jaw muscles that connect it to the skull, and the mandible shape, therefore, reflects the diet of the animal.

The lower jaw is also sufficiently robust to survive burial and fossilization, providing valuable insight into the diets of animals that are long dead.

A new international study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences has described the shape of 525 ancient dog mandibles from European archaeological sites.

The study compared these 5,000–10,000-year-old remains to a reference sample of modern dogs, wolves, as well as our Australian dingoes.

“Ancient dogs are physically distinctive from those of modern dogs, with the main differences in the curvature of the body under the carnassial (cutting) tooth, suggesting they fed on more tough and hard foods than most modern dogs,” said Dr. Colline Brassard, lead author of the study.

Modern dogs have an omnivorous diet. They have multiple copies of the amylase gene that increases their ability to digest starch—the carbohydrate found in plants such as grains—a trait that has been interpreted as reflecting their living alongside humans and consuming anthropogenic-sourced foods.

Dr. Brassard said it is likely that a shift from a carnivorous diet to the starch-containing omnivorous diet of modern domesticated dogs could explain the changes evident in their jaw shape.

“Somewhat surprisingly, the shape of dingo mandibles did not group with ancient dogs but was instead intermediate between wolves and modern dogs.

The ancient dogs also showed traits indicating they had a greater bite force than modern dogs, which would also have been useful for defence or hunting,” said Professor Trish Fleming, from Murdoch University, who collaborated on the work, comparing European ancient dogs with dingoes.

The dingo was brought to Australia somewhere about 3,600 to 5,000 years ago and it has lived in isolation until about 200 years ago when Europeans brought modern dogs onto the continent.

Dingoes have a carnivorous diet, with their principal diet being kangaroos and wallabies, and they have recently been shown to have a single copy of the amylase gene, supporting their separation from modern dog lineage prior to this adaptation to an omnivorous diet.

‘Australia’s silk road’: Quarry sites dating back 2,100 years reveal a world-scale trading system in Mithaka country

‘Australia’s silk road’: Quarry sites dating back 2,100 years reveal a world-scale trading system in Mithaka country

In Queensland’s remote Channel Country of red dirt and gibber rock, traditional owners and archaeologists have unearthed what researchers have dubbed “Australia’s Silk Road”.

The region is archaeologically significant: the landscape has been dramatically altered by a huge network of quarries, which Mithaka people once used to make seed-grinding implements.

While historical accounts have suggested Aboriginal Australians may have lived in permanent settlements, scientists say there is relatively limited archaeological evidence to back this up.

But now, a unique collaboration between Mithaka traditional owners, defence veterans, and scientists is unearthing skeletons and stone circles that experts say may paint a new picture of early Aboriginal lives.

In a research project initiated by the Mithaka people addressing, the results show that Mithaka Country has a substantial and diverse archaeological record, including numerous large stone quarries, multiple ritual structures, and substantial dwellings.

A team involving traditional owners and researchers eventually identified 179 quarry sites, spread over 33,800 sq km – an area about half the size of Tasmania. Some quarry pits are estimated to be more than 2,000 years old.

A Mithaka grinding stone set from Morney Plains Quarry.

One of the sites comprises 25,000 individual quarry pits, says Shawnee Gorringe, a Mithaka traditional owner. She describes the archaeological research findings as “scientific validation of something that you already knew was pretty special.”

In December, Michael C. Westaway, and collaborators received grant funding to investigate plant domestication and possible village sites on Mithaka land.

Project partner and lead researcher from Michael C. Westaway said he was blown away by the scale and significance of the Mithaka cultural landscape.

“Mithaka country is in the heart of a massive trade and exchange network, which I have referred to as Australia’s Silk Road,” Dr. Westaway said.

The researchers say archaeological research has uncovered unknown aspects, such as the scale of Mithaka quarrying, that could spur a reassessment of Aboriginal socio-economic systems in parts of ancient Australia.

A newly rediscovered ancient giant “Scorpious Stone Arrangement” in the remote desert of far western QLD, is offering new clues about the Mithika indigenous history.

Australia’s Silk Road

The Channel Country is so named for its intertwined channels, in which monsoonal rains transform from the arid desert into lush greenery. A complex exchange system once operated up and down along these rivulets.

Mithaka land was once at the heart of a vast transcontinental exchange route that spanned from the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, down to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia – a system Westaway describes as “Australia’s Silk Road”.

“It connected large numbers of Aboriginal groups throughout that arid interior area on the eastern margins of the Simpson Desert,” he says. “You get people interacting all across the continent, exchanging ideas, trading objects and items and ceremonies and songs.”

Grindstones mined and produced on an industrial scale on Mithaka land were exchanged for ochre, wooden objects, stone axes, and pituri, a narcotic. “We don’t really know how far and wide they were being distributed, but they were an important element,” Westaway says.

Some of the archaeological findings are on show in an exhibition touring Queensland titled Kirrenderri, meaning the heart of Channel Country.

Ancient Campfires Reveal A 50,000-Year-Old Grocer And Pharmacy In Australia

Ancient Campfires Reveal A 50,000-Year-Old Grocer And Pharmacy In Australia

For the first time in Australia, archaeobotany has been used by researchers from The University of Western Australia to examine charcoal from ancient campfires in the Western Desert.

Led by UWA Ph.D. candidate Chae Byrne, the research was the first of its kind in the region and examined charcoal from ancient campfires in desert rock shelters to learn about the earliest uses of firewood in Karnatukul (Serpents Glen) in Katjarra (the Carnarvon Ranges) Wattle and other Acacias were found in the oldest archaeological site on the land of the Martu in the Western Desert.

It showed how wattle has defined culture and been important to Australians for over 50,000 years.

Ancient Campfires Reveal A 50,000-Year-Old Grocer And Pharmacy In Australia
Wattle and other Acacias were found in the oldest archaeological site on the land of the Martu in the Western Desert.

“Wattle was critical to the lives of the Martu and essential to the habitability of the arid landscape of the sandplains and rocky ridges of the Western Desert – and it still is,” Ms. Byrne said.

“Then and now, wattle has been used as firewood, to make tools, as food, and as medicine.”

The study confirmed that early Indigenous explorers settled in this arid part of the country, even during changes in climate which saw widespread drought and desertification as sea levels dropped when the polar ice sheets grew.

The study also found that wattle and other acacias have been constant, dependable resources, crucial to the habitability of an otherwise arid and harsh environment.

Ms. Byrne and the research team worked closely with Traditional Owners of the region, who shared their knowledge about the many uses for wattle and other plants.

“I have walked in Country with Traditional Owners who have been kind enough to share their knowledge surrounding the many uses for the vegetation which surround us,” Ms. Byrne said.

“They have taught me that there is a purpose and significance for every type of tree and bush; an ancient grocer and pharmacy which has provided and prospered for tens of thousands of years.”

The researchers sampled trees growing in the region today, which could then be compared to ancient charcoal fragments from campfires in archaeological sites.

“Looking at the plant remains is particularly useful in studying Australian Indigenous heritage, given the persistent importance of natural resources like trees and the rarity of other cultural remains in the deep time record,” Ms. Byrne said.

“There’s so much we can learn from charcoal, not just about the people that produced it but also in environmental science and climate change.”

Ms. Byrne was a finalist in Fresh Science, a national competition helping early-career researchers find, and then share, their stories of discovery.

The study was conducted by the University of Western Australia.

WA Aboriginal site near Rio Tinto mine more than 50,000 years old, a new study reveals

WA Aboriginal site near Rio Tinto mine more than 50,000 years old, a new study reveals

An Aboriginal sacred place located 65 metres from a land bridge used by Rio Tinto to haul iron ore is at least 50,000 years old, with new research finding evidence of occupation during the height of the last ice age. The mining giant, which funded the latest excavation, has promised to ensure the site “is preserved for future generations”.

WA Aboriginal site near Rio Tinto mine more than 50,000 years old, a new study reveals
Traditional owners say the latest excavation at the Aboriginal sacred site Yirra is globally significant and needs to be protected.

Archaeological exploration at the site, known as Yirra by the Yinhawangka traditional owners, has yielded stone tools, charcoal and bone which show a 50,000-plus year habitation, making it one of the oldest sites yet found in Australia. The research is the first traditional owner-led, non-mining related, heritage excavation in Yinhawangka country, and the first time Rio Tinto has participated in such exploration.

The initiative is part of the company’s efforts to improve its relationships with traditional owner groups in the wake of the Juukan Gorge disaster, when the iron ore giant destroyed a 46,000-year-old rock shelter against the consent of Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura traditional owners.

A subsequent 2021 federal parliamentary inquiry heard that archaeological work was usually perfunctory, and only done as part of a mining company’s application to destroy Aboriginal heritage sites under Western Australia’s previous heritage laws.

Heritage experts told the inquiry that very few sites were studied in detail before the sign-off to destroy was given. The work at Yirra marks a significant departure from that practice.

Yinhawangka people told the Juukan Gorge inquiry they were concerned for the integrity of Yirra, which was recorded in the WA heritage system but was not a registered site and therefore “unprotected”. The traditional owners said Yirra was very close to a “massive” (110-metre high) land bridge that haul pack trucks used to deliver ore from the mine pit. They said large boulders had rolled onto the site and there was significant soil erosion.

Experts say the Yirra site is among the oldest known places of human habitation in Australia.

Rio Tinto’s cultural heritage management plan did not provide for any actions relating to Yirra at that time, they said.

Now there are calls for more work of this kind to be done.

“We hope that Yirra will help us tell our ancestral story to Australia and our future generations. We would still be visiting this site if it wasn’t for the mining leases,” Yinhawangka Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) chair Halloway Smirke said.

“All Pilbara groups should have this kind of scientific work done on cultural sites.

“Important sites like Yirra need to be protected, especially when they turn out to be amongst the oldest known places of human habitation in Australia,” Smirke said.

YAC heritage manager, archaeologist and anthropologist Dr Anna Fagan said the study was globally significant.

“This was the first study of its kind to be done, not for mining compliance or heritage clearance, but for Yinhawangka People and Country. The Yirra findings help overturn and reset ideas of desert presence in Australia and I’m confident in global narratives,” Dr Fagan said.

A spokesperson for Rio Tinto said the company acknowledged the significance of Yirra “and is committed to working in partnership with the Yinhawangka people” to preserve it.

“We’ve undertaken a geotechnical study to further our understanding of the surrounds of the site and implemented additional controls,” the spokesperson said, without elaborating.

YAC conducted the archaeological work in collaboration with Archae-aus heritage consultants, and researchers from the University of Western Australia. Archae-aus director Fiona Hook, who excavated the site with her husband, the late Dr Bruce Veitch, and traditional owners more than 20 years ago, said the importance of the site has now been proven beyond doubt.

“When the old dates were returned, I was overwhelmed by emotion. I’ve worked with three generations of Yinhawangka People at this place. It is such an immense relief that we finally got to return to the site and excavate Yirra again after 20 years of waiting,” Hook said.

Rio Tinto said it plans to fund further traditional owner-led cultural research and archaeological excavations.

“This is a wonderful outcome for the Yinhawangka people and we welcome this incredible discovery,” Rio’s iron ore chief executive Simon Trott said.

“These findings at Yirra are a major archaeological breakthrough of international significance, expanding knowledge of Aboriginal occupation in the Pilbara,” Trott said.

Rio Tinto is in talks with other traditional owner groups in the Pilbara to fund further traditional owner-led cultural research and archaeological excavations, a spokesperson said.

Mungo Man: 42,000-year-old Aboriginal remains to be reburied

Mungo Man: 42,000-year-old Aboriginal remains to be reburied

The remains of 108 Aboriginal people who died about 42,000 years ago will be reburied in outback Australia, years after they were first dug up without permission. These include the remains of Mungo Man, which was famously discovered in 1974 and helped rewrite Australia’s history.

The remains of Mungo Man are carried in a casket made from a 5000-year-old red gum

The decision comes after the federal government finalised a four-year-long formal assessment of the reburial.

But some indigenous groups claim they were not consulted in this process.

Between 1960 and 1980, there was a flurry of archaeological finds. During this time, researchers found the remains of 108 Aboriginal individuals in Lake Mungo and Willandra Lakes, part of the Willandra world heritage area about 750km (470 miles) west of Sydney, including the remains of an aboriginal man that was dubbed Mungo Man.

His remains were the oldest evidence of humans living in Australia and the evidence of the first recorded ceremonial burial, a sign that there had been a long history of civilisation as early as 42,000 years ago.

This record was later broken when another 65,000-year-old site was discovered in other parts of the country in 2017.

Lake Mungo in the Willandra region in Australia is where the 42,000-year-old remains of the indigenous Australians were found.

However, the future of the 108 ancient people’s remains is still a matter of debate.

Campaigners say many remains removed without permission are yet to be returned, with some housed in museums overseas. In the case of Mungo Man, indigenous Australians said the removal of his remains caused great pain.

Reflecting the sensitivity around this issue, Mungo Man was finally returned to where it was found in the first place, Mungo National Park in 2017 after being kept at the storage of the Australian National University in Canberra.

But in 2018 the Australian government decided to rebury all 108 remains – in what they described as an effort to accommodate the wishes of Aboriginal groups.

On Wednesday, the Australian government has finally approved the reburial of the remains, which will be buried at 26 anonymous locations in national parks in the coming months.

“Forty-two thousand years ago Aboriginal people were living – and thriving – on the edge of what was then a rich lakeside. In the last four decades their remains have been removed, analysed, stored, and extensively investigated in the interests of western science.”, Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said.

While the government asserted that they had listened to the local Aboriginal community, some of the community members feel let down by the whole process.

Local papers quoting some locals said they felt “bitter disappointment” as not all the owners of the remains were consulted for the crucial decision involving their ancestors.

Michael Young, a Paakantyi man from the community, said the central government continued to make decisions without them, according to an ABC News report.

“It is our place. It is our identity.”