First discovery of 50,000-year-old human settlements in Australian interior

Warratyi cave's astounding archaeological evidence - Archaeologists working with traditional Aboriginal owners in the northern Flinders Ranges have discovered astounding evidence of the earliest human habitation of inland, arid Australia. Warratyi cave's astounding archaeological evidence The find has pushed back the date of such occupation by 10,000 years to about 49,000 years ago.
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Here you can see the Warratyi rock shelter. During the period when it was occupied, it would have looked out over a winding stream

Here you can see the Warratyi rock shelter. During the period when it was occupied, it would have looked out over a winding stream

Aerial view of the Northern Flinders Ranges, containing incised creek valleys and gorges, where Warratyi rock shelter was discovered.

Aerial view of the Northern Flinders Ranges, containing incised creek valleys and gorges, where Warratyi rock shelter was discovered.

A map of where the Warratyi rock shelter was found in the Southern Australian interior. The thick dark line delineates where the arid regions of the continent begin, and it places the settlement (marked with a triangle) firmly within that area.

A map of where the Warratyi rock shelter was found in the Southern Australian interior. The thick dark line delineates where the arid regions of the continent begin, and it places the settlement (marked with a triangle) firmly within that area.

A drawing of representative rock tools discovered, showing the range and complexity of the paleo tech that humans used at Warratyi.

A drawing of representative rock tools discovered, showing the range and complexity of the paleo tech that humans used at Warratyi.

Adult Diprotodon (Diprotodon optatum) a megafauna herbivore weighing approximately 3 tons and 4 meters in length. Part of a Diprotodon bone was found in the Warratyi rock shelter, likely the leftovers from a meal over 45,000 years ago.

Adult Diprotodon (Diprotodon optatum) a megafauna herbivore weighing approximately 3 tons and 4 meters in length. Part of a Diprotodon bone was found in the Warratyi rock shelter, likely the leftovers from a meal over 45,000 years ago.

A sharpened bone point, dated to 40-38 thousand years old and now the oldest bone tool yet found in Australia. It was likely made from the lower leg bone of an animal similar in size to the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby.

A sharpened bone point, dated to 40-38 thousand years old and now the oldest bone tool yet found in Australia. It was likely made from the lower leg bone of an animal similar in size to the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby.

Another stratigraphic diagram of the site, noting where ochre, gypsum, and charcoal were found. The scientists did chemical analysis and carbon dating of these substances to verify their composition and age.

Another stratigraphic diagram of the site, noting where ochre, gypsum, and charcoal were found. The scientists did chemical analysis and carbon dating of these substances to verify their composition and age.

This stratigraphic diagram of one part of the site shows the time sequence. Lower layers are older, and all four layers correspond to roughly 40,000 years of occupation, from 50,000-10,000 years ago.

This stratigraphic diagram of one part of the site shows the time sequence. Lower layers are older, and all four layers correspond to roughly 40,000 years of occupation, from 50,000-10,000 years ago.

In a stunning discovery, a team of archaeologists in Australia has found extensive remains of a sophisticated human community living 50,000 years ago. The remains were found in a rock shelter in the continent's arid southern interior. Packed with a range of tools, decorative pigments, and animal bones, the shelter is a wide, roomy space located in the Flinders Ranges, which are the ancestral lands of the Adnyamathanha.

In a stunning discovery, a team of archaeologists in Australia has found extensive remains of a sophisticated human community living 50,000 years ago. The remains were found in a rock shelter in the continent's arid southern interior. Packed with a range of tools, decorative pigments, and animal bones, the shelter is a wide, roomy space located in the Flinders Ranges, which are the ancestral lands of the Adnyamathanha.


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