There are many famous archaeological sites dotted around the country that provide invaluable information about Australian culture and history. Here are 5 Australian archaeological sites and some basic information about them.
The site of lake Mungo has provided archaeologists important information about Australia’s indigenous past and how indigenous Australians lived their lives. Additionally, the site gives scientists invaluable information about the environmental changes that have occurred through time.
The site was discovered in 1969 and included the cremation remains of Mungo Lady that show the cultural burial practices of indigenous peoples. The site has been dated to around 23, 000BC. Other interesting finds are the shell middens and fire pits around the sides of the dried up lake mungo that enable archaeologists to gather information about the diet of indigenous Australians. The remains of an indigenous man were also found at this site. The remains have recently been returned.
Environmentally, the site displays the changing weather patterns of Australia from 60, 000BP to 20,000BP and how the site used to be a lake full of fish and natural resources. Then when the weather changed the site dried up and indigenous Australians needed to adapt in order to survive. The indigenous Australian’s were a very resilient culture surviving against all challenges.
Cuddy springs is a site located in New South Wales, Australia and contains the remains of megafauna and layers of human indigenous occupation. The site shows how the indigenous Australians were around during the same time as the megafauna. Research also suggests that the indigenous Australians may have hunted the megafauna. It would have been an interesting encounter when the indigenous Australia’s first sited the megafauna. The site was occupied during the Pleistocene period by megafauna including the Genyornis, a flightless large bird. The Genyornis was over 2 meters tall and was easier to hunt than other megafauna as they could not run very fast. This site has provided invaluable information about prehistory in Australia, what types of megafauna existed, and when they went extinct.
The site is over 31,000BP years old and shows early indigenous occupation. The site is located in Victoria, Australia along the Maribyrnong river. The site was first discovered in 1940 and has provided some important information about how the indigenous Australians were living and was continuously occupied between an estimated period of 31,000BP to around 11,000BP. A hearth was discovered at the site, along with human remains of a cranium that enabled the archaeologists to explore the origins of indigenous peoples of Australia. The site has provided evidence of when the indigenous Australians first arrived in Australia, where they came from, their characteristics and cultural practices. Additionally, the site also provides information, like Cuddy Springs, about megafauna and when they were living around the site.
West Point Midden
This site is located in Tasmania, Australia it is a midden site showing the indigenous culture, their diet and maritime culture around the site. It is one of the largest sites in Australia to show how indigenous Australians were living in history. The site has given Archaeologists invaluable information and around 30,000 artefacts including indigenous huts, stone tools and hunting artefacts. In addition, the site shows what the indigenous Australians were eating and fishing at the time. It is a fascinating site showing important Australian indigenous culture that are not available elsewhere.
Changing the landscape and pace of sites now, when Europeans arrived in Australia they were quick to build a society just like they were used to back in their home country of England. The town of Brisbane was first settled in 1824 as the Moreton bay settlement. When Sydney was settled in 1788 as a convict settlement, the city slowly expanded then more cities were formed along the Australian coastlines, including the town of Newcastle for the export of coal. In 1924, the site of Moreton Bay along the Brisbane river was settled as another convict site and one of the first buildings constructed, was the windmill site for the storage and processing of corn and grains to feed the colony. The windmill was constructed in 1828 to meet the needs of the colony and is one of a few buildings of historical significance remaining in Queensland, Australia.
These provide a basic overview of only 5 sites in Australia. Australia has a rich and varied history that is certainly worth investigating in more detail.