Tasmanian Aborigines

13 Mar 2010

Various  web sites are mentioning the discovery of a meeting ground for Aborigines in Tasmania which is reputed to be 40,000 years of age, such as Discovery News 11th March (see http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/australia-aborigines-tribe.htm ) which is written in US 'politically correct' speak. Roadworks in Tasmania cut into the meeting ground and an absolutely massive site has been unearthed - but only partially. The excitement of the archaeologists revolves around the large number of stone tools, shellfish fragments and food scraps that are arranged in a huge midden that represents thousands of years of seasonal occupation. The story is elaborated on at http://www.themercury.com also 11th March (see archive of news stories) and we discover that the estimated age, at 40,000 years ago, is going to be highly controversial - it will upset the Out of Africa consensus on human origins. They mention Mungo Man, the human skeleton found at Lake Mungo in New South Wales that Out of Africa theorists find embarrassing as it too has been dated to 40,000 years ago. The idea all humans are descended from homo sapiens who left Africa 50 to 60 thousand years ago is already under pressure with the discovery of tools dating from before 70,000 years ago in India (and assumed to be from modern species of humans). The site in Tasmania is unique and will prove to be groundbreaking for the simple reason that it is a essentially a huge layered mound that is undisturbed. Most knowledge of the Palaeolithic era comes from cave deposits, such as the Hobbit find in a cave on the island of Flores. This is a site that has layering going back thousands of years. It's archaeology is unarguable.