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New Thoughts on Australia’s Underwater Stone Tools

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

PERTH, AUSTRALIA—According to a statement released by the University of Western Australia (UWA), a re-evaluation of underwater stone scatters off Western Australia’s Pilbara coast, conducted by a team of researchers including members of the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, indicates that the sites may not be as old as previously thought. Researchers from Flinders University, UWA, James Cook University, and Airborne Research Australia had suggested that the underwater sites at Cape Bruguieres were undisturbed, and could be thousands of years old. The new study, led by geoarchaeologist Ingrid Ward of UWA, found that the scattered stone artifacts are not permanently submerged, and are likely to have been moved by waves and currents away from where they were first discarded. Ward said that the artifacts' age is unknown at this time—they could be 200 years old, 2,000 years old, or 20,000 years old. Read the original scholarly article about this research in Geoarchaeology. For more on the initial discovery of the tools, go to "Around the World: Australia."

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