Date 20.07.2017

Archaeologists have found the first evidence that suggests the Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 65,000 years.

The finding shows their arrival on the land was up to 18,000 years earlier than people had previously thought.

It was made after urbane artefacts were dug from a rock shelter in the Northern Territory.

Researchers excavated what they say are the world’s oldest stone axes and ochre crayons which are thought to be used for art.

How does this change things?

Australian Aborigines are thought to be the world’s eldest continuous civilisation.

However, there has been discussion between scientists about when they arrived, with an estimation of between 47,000 and 60,000 years ago. They would have made sea journeys from the islands of South-East Asia at a time when water levels were much lower.

What dating techniques did the new research use?

Radiocarbon dating was used on charcoal samples but this has a boundary of about 50,000 years.

To go outside that, the team used the technique of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL).

It is used on hidden material, measuring the time that has elapsed since mineral grains were last exposed to sunlight. It was used to date some 28,500 individual grains of sand.

Source: BBC