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Clues to Australia’s Past Spotted Underwater

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Australia Aboriginal ToolsADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA—Cosmos Magazine reports that two archaeological sites have been discovered underwater off the coast of northwestern Australia through the use of aircraft, remote underwater sensing technologies, boats, and divers. As much as one-third of the continent has been flooded since the last Ice Age, explained Jonathan Benjamin of Flinders University. “So if you’re looking for the whole picture on Australia’s ancient past, you’ve got to look under water, there’s just no question,” he said. More than 260 stone artifacts from the first site, which is located in Cape Bruguieres Channel, have been dated to at least 7,000 years ago. An artifact from the second site, known as Flying Foam Passage, has been dated to 8,500 years ago. The tools differ from those found on land, Benjamin added, and may have been crafted by the people who created the Murujuga rock art in the Dampier Archipelago. Read the original scholarly article about this research in PLOS ONE. To read about petroglyphs left by American whalers on the Dampier Archipelago, go to "World Roundup: Australia."

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