Wednesday, 15 July 2020

29,000 Years of Australian Aboriginal History

Mussel shells collected and dated from along the River Murray downstream of Renmark in SA’s Riverland.
29,000 years of Aboriginal history on the Murray – News

Does anyone still take the story of Noah's Ark seriously, apart from simple-minded creationists and Bible literalists?

If so, they have some explaining to do now we have yet more evidence of human activity from way before the alleged global flood which is central to the biblical story of a vengeful, genocidal god drowning nearly everything and everyone just a few thousand years ago.

A team of archaeologists from Flinders University has discovered evidence of human occupation of South Australia’s Riverland region 29,000 years ago. Their results are published in Australian Archaeology:


This paper presents a preliminary occupation chronology for the Riverland region of South Australia, based on 31 radiocarbon age determinations. This region has represented a significant geographic gap in understanding occupation chronologies for the broader Murray-Darling Basin. The dating forms part of an ongoing research program exploring the long-term engagements of Aboriginal people with the habitat mosaics of the central River Murray corridor. Dating targets were selected on the basis of their landscape context. Results relate occupation evidence to an evolving riverine landscape through the period extending from approximately 29 ka to the late Holocene. These results include the first pre-Last Glacial Maximum ages returned on the River Murray in South Australia and extend the known Aboriginal occupation of the Riverland by approximately 22,000 years.

As the Flinders University News release explains:

These results include the first pre-Last Glacial Maximum ages returned on the River Murray in South Australia and extend the known Aboriginal occupation of the Riverland by approximately 22,000 years.

Craig Westell, Lead author
Archaeologist and PhD candidate
Flinders University.
The known timeline of the Aboriginal occupation of South Australia’s Riverland region has been vastly extended by new research led by Flinders University in collaboration with the River Murray and Mallee Aboriginal Corporation (RMMAC).

In the first comprehensive survey of the region, one of the oldest Indigenous sites along Australia’s longest river system has been discovered. The results, published today in Australian Archaeology, used radiocarbon dating methods to analyse river mussel shells from a midden site overlooking the Pike River floodplain downstream of Renmark.

These studies show how our ancestors have lived over many thousands of years in the Riverland region and how they managed to survive during times of hardship and plenty.

Fiona Giles.
RMMAC spokesperson
The shells – remnants of meals eaten long ago – capture a record of Aboriginal occupation that extends to around 29,000 years, confirming the location as one of the oldest sites along the 2500km river, also becoming the oldest River Murray Indigenous site in South Australia.

More than 30 additional radiocarbon dates were collected in the region, spanning the period from 15,000 years ago to the recent present. Together, the results relate Aboriginal people to an ever-changing river landscape, and provide deeper insights into how they responded to these challenges.

So, what we can expect now is yet another attempt to misrepresent science and mislead their dupes as creationist frauds attempt to discredit the basis of this discovery - carbon-dating of shells from middens. Fortunately there are several excellent articles which explain how carbon-dating works, to counter creationist disinformation.

So that just leaves creationist/Bible-literalists to explain why this evidence from 29,000 years ago wasn't destroyed in the alleged global flood just a few thousand years ago.

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