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The firstAboriginal underwater archaeological sites, which date back thousands of years, when the current seabed was land, were discovered off the northwestern coast of Australia, Flinders University, a partner in the research, reported on Thursday.
'Australia is a very large continent, but few people realize thatmore than 30% of its land area it was flooded by rising sea levels after the last ice age, "said Jonathan Benjamin, coordinator of the Underwater Archeology Program at Flinders University. 'This means that a lot of the archaeological information documenting the life of the aboriginesis now under water«He added.
Over the past four years, an international team of archaeologists, rock art specialists, geomorphologists, geologists and scientific divers have located and studied ancient artifacts from two submerged sites off the coast of the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
At the Cape Bruguieres site, the researchers found more than260 stone objects, including mills and grinding stones, at a depth of up to 2.4 meters, reads a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Based on environmental data and radiocarbon dating, they suggested that the artifacts have at least7,000 yearsold.
Meanwhile, in the second enclave, which dates back to at least8,500 years, in the Flying Foam Passage, traces of human activities associated with a freshwater spring submerged at 14 meters were found, including astone cutting tool Made from locally sourced material.
«These territories that are now under water retain afavorable environment for indigenous settlementsincluding freshwater, ecological diversity and opportunities to exploit marine resources that would have allowed for a relatively high population density, ”explained Michael O'Leary, a marine geomorphologist at the University of Western Australia.