The earliest Australians

One of the really big challenges in anthropology is to date accurately the arrival of humans in the different continents. New results, to be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Quaternary Science, show that humans arrived in Australia a lot earlier than was previously thought.

It is generally argued that humans evolved in Africa and then spread out over the other continents progressively through time, arriving in the most distant, such as Australasia, relatively recently. The conventional view, based on radiocarbon dating, is that the earliest human colonisation of Australia occurred only around 40,000 years ago. New evidence, published in the Journal of Quaternary Science, pushes the arrival of the first humans in Australia back by as much as 15,000 years, to between 45,000 and 55,000 years ago.

Dr Chris Turney of Queen’s University, Belfast and Australian colleagues report evidence for extensive burning at this time in North Queensland which is independent of any climate change. Using new techniques for radiocarbon dating lake sediments, Dr Turney and his colleagues attribute these extensive fires to human activity.

Interestingly this earlier arrival time is consistent with the timing of the extinction of many very large vertebrates in Australia, which is usually attributed to overkill by humans. As with any biological invasion by top predators, the arrival of humans clearly had a profound impact on the pre-existing vegetation and animals of the continent.

Media Contact

Joanna Gibson alphagalileo

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Earth Sciences

Earth Sciences (also referred to as Geosciences), which deals with basic issues surrounding our planet, plays a vital role in the area of energy and raw materials supply.

Earth Sciences comprises subjects such as geology, geography, geological informatics, paleontology, mineralogy, petrography, crystallography, geophysics, geodesy, glaciology, cartography, photogrammetry, meteorology and seismology, early-warning systems, earthquake research and polar research.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

High-thermoresistant biopolyimides become water-soluble like starch

This is the first report for the syntheses of water-soluble polyimides which are Interestingly derived from bio-based resources, showing high transparency, tunable mechanical strength and the highest thermoresistance in water-soluble…

Land management in forest and grasslands

How much can we intensify? A first assessment of the effects of land management on the links between biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are crucial for human…

A molecular break for root growth

The dynamic change in root growth of plants plays an important role in their adjustment to soil conditions. Depending on the location, nutrients or moisture can be found in higher…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close