Australian archaeologists discover ancient underwater aboriginal artifacts

Underwater artefacts dated back thousands of years when the sea bed was dry land, found by researchers from Flinders University, University of Western Australia and James Cook University, are seen in this undated handout picture taken from a video. (Photo by Reuters)

Archaeologists have discovered aboriginal artifacts in Western Australia's continental shelf dating back at least 7,000 years, which scholars say are the first to be found underwater on Australia's continental shelf. 

Archaeologists in Western Australia discovered hundreds of stone tools made by aboriginal people when the seabed was dry, at two ancient sites now submerged in the Dampier Archipelago.

While the region is well known for its rich ancient history and its rock-art carvings, the two sites are the first confirmed underwater locations holding evidence of human civilization on Australia's continental shelf.

"You can start to recreate what the people were doing and how they were making their life way in their economy at the time," Dr Jonathan Benjamin, the leader of the project, told Reuters on Thursday.

Divers from Flinders University retrieved the aboriginal objects from what was once dry land, at a depth of between 2.4 metres and 11 metres (8-36 feet), from May to September of 2019. They had previously mapped and scanned the site before diving in. 

Data from the find is being analyzed for precise dating, however radiocarbon dating and analysis of sea-level changes show the site is at least 7,000 years old.

Benjamin said the vast majority of artifacts remain on the seabed. The ones taken have been scanned for further research and then handed to the indigenous land owners, the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation.

(Source: Reuters) 

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