Australia has a very long and rich history, dating back over 40,000 years. The many and varied stories that helped to shape our history will be the focus of our inquiry throughout this term.
We will explore the stories of our grandparents, our migrant community and our indigenous neighbours.
Below is the story of the discovery of Australia’s oldest known man and woman, courtesy of Australian Geographic. This will be the beginning of our exciting exploration into our own historical inquiries.
The 1974 discovery of Mungo Man surprised everybody – doubling the known length of Aboriginal history in Australia.
ON FEBRUARY 26, 1974, a young geologist managed to stretch Australian history by 20,000-odd years when he found 40,000-year-old human remains buried in a dry lake bed in south-western New South Wales.
The discovery, made in the midst of the Aboriginal rights movement – which would quickly intergrate the findings into its slogans – would later double the time that Australia’s first humans were thought to have arrived on the continent.
Jim Bowler, now in his 80s, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Melbourne, was with the Australian National University when he came across the remains at Lake Mungo, about 700km west of Sydney.
“We were then confronted by a whole new chapter in Australian history that nobody had previously anticipated,” Jim says.
Professor Mike Morwood, an archaeologist at the University of Wollongong, says the discovery “changed the whole tenor of Australian archaeology, which was now on the world stage.”