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12 January

How Was Australia Populated?


It’s one of anthropology’s most enduring and controversial mysteries – no one is quite certain just how or when the indigenous peoples of Australia (also known as “aboriginals”) arrived. As recently as the turn of the last century, it was believed that they had been on the continent no longer than 400 years or so. That eventually gave way to the notion that Aboriginals had been in Australia since about 8,000 years ago. Then in the 60s, a geologist named Jim Bowler uncovered the skeleton of a woman on the banks of a long-dried lake bed, who had died some 23,000 years ago. Nowadays, experts put the date of arrival from anywhere between 45,000 and 60,000 years ago.

From mental_floss.

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