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Fire Reveals Sections of Australia’s Ancient Aquaculture System

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA—ABC News Australia reports that bush fires in the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape in southwestern Victoria have revealed additional stone-lined channels and pools built by the Gunditjmara people as part of an aquaculture system for harvesting eels. Some parts of the system, which includes stone dwellings, have been dated to as early as 6,600 years ago. Denis Rose, project manager for the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, said fire damage to the trees growing around the stone fish trap systems could cause them to fall and uproot the ancient stone structures. “We’ve had relatively cool burns—certainly nothing like the damage and the devastation over in the eastern parts of Australia,” Rose said. “[These fires] have burnt the undergrowth rather than scorching the forest the whole way through.” Aerial photography and a new survey of the area are planned. To read about petroglyphs in the Northern Territory's Kakadu National Park, go to "Off the Grid."

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