- Title: Australian archaeologists discover ancient underwater aboriginal artefacts
- Date: 2nd July 2020
- Summary: ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA (JULY 2, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MARITIME ARCHAEOLOGY AT FLINDERS UNIVERSITY, DR JONATHAN BENJAMIN, SAYING: "Well for me personally it's a huge find. Because, I've been studying submerged landscape archaeology for almost two decades now. First in Europe as a PHD student and now over here in Australia for the last six and half years, and it's interesting because when I moved to Australia, I thought this would be something I would like to find at some point in my career. You know, 25, 30 years down the line wouldn't it be wonderful to have built up a research profile and a research team and the group of students that would eventually find these sites. But, we were fortunate enough to receive, you know, the funding to prove the concept and I've done that with this wonderful team. It was a joint effort between all of our colleagues and students at Flinders, UWA, James Cook University and so for me it's an absolute, you know, find of a lifetime."
- Embargoed: 16th July 2020 07:27
- Keywords: Flinders University Maritime Archeology Pilbera Coast Western Australia aboriginal artefacts
- Location: ADELAIDE / DAMPIER ARCHIPELAGO, PILBARA, AUSTRALIA
- City: ADELAIDE / DAMPIER ARCHIPELAGO, PILBARA, AUSTRALIA
- Country: Australia
- Topics: Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA008CL47GP3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Archaeologists have discovered aboriginal artefacts in Western Australia's continental shelf dating back at least 7,000 years, which scholars say are the first to be found underwater on Australia's continental shelf.
Archaeologists in Western Australia discovered hundreds of stone tools made by aboriginal people when the seabed was dry, at two ancient sites now submerged in the Dampier Archipelago.
While the region is well known for its rich ancient history and its rock-art carvings, the two sites are the first confirmed underwater locations holding evidence of human civilization on Australia's continental shelf.
"You can start to recreate what the people were doing and how they were making their life way in their economy at the time," Dr Jonathan Benjamin, the leader of the project, told Reuters on Thursday (July 2).
Divers from Flinders University retrieved the aboriginal objects from what was once dry land, at a depth of between 2.4 metres and 11 metres (8-36 feet), from May to September of 2019. They had previously mapped and scanned the site before diving in.
Data from the find is being analysed for precise dating, however radiocarbon dating and analysis of sea-level changes show the site is at least 7,000 years old.
Benjamin said the vast majority of artefacts remain on the seabed. The ones taken have been scanned for further research and then handed to the indigenous land owners, the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.
(Production: Jill Gralow)
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