Aboriginal sites have, for the first time been discovered off the australian coast by archaeologists, paving the way for the discovery of ancient settlement areas covered by the waters since the end of the last glacial period.
Hundreds of ancient stone tools made by indigenous peoples living in the current Australia there are at least 7000 years have been found at two metres below the level of the sea near the western coasts of this country, according to the results of this research published Thursday in the journal PLOS ONE.
Traces of human activity have also been detected on a second site in the area dating back at least 8500 years not far from there, at 14 m of depth.
The archaeologists, who point out that these two areas of installation of people could well be older still, consider that it is a first step. This could in effect lead to the discovery of further aboriginal sites which we think they could have been buried during the last glacial period, which began 18 000 years ago and ended about 8000 years ago.
Jonathan Benjamin, an associate professor of Flinders University, co-author of the study, explained that with the rising of the sea level, it is more than 30% of this vast island-continent which found itself invaded by the waters.
“A huge amount of archaeological evidence documenting the lives of aboriginal peoples is now under water”, he added.
“We now have the first evidence that at least some of these archaeological evidence has survived the rising waters,” he said.
Teams of divers were able to identify 269 objects on a site located at approximately 2.4 meters below sea level off the coast of Cape Bruguieres, in the Pilbara region, and have found an underwater source at the second location, in the Flying Foam Passage.
In the terrestrial part of Australia, the archaeologists have uncovered areas that were once populated by Aboriginal people dating back at least 65,000 years.