Sunday, September 16, 2007

Settlers' history rewritten: go back 30,000 years
It is the oldest evidence yet found of humans occupying what is now metropolitan Sydney. Aboriginal burial sites at Lake Mungo, in south-western NSW, have been dated at 40,000 years, The archaeologist who led the dig, Jo McDonald, said the previous oldest evidence of human habitation around Sydney had been found in the Blue Mountains (14,700 years), at Kurnell (12,500), and near the old Tempe House on the Cooks River (10,700).

"We have always thought that humans arrived much earlier in Sydney, having made their way down the coast from northern Australia and moving inland up major rivers like the Hawkesbury and Parramatta rivers. But most of that earlier occupation evidence was drowned on the coastal plain when the sea level rose to its current height around 7000 years ago."