Dating the first australians
One lineage was believed to have been the evolutionary descendants of Indonesian Homo erectus while the other lineage had evolved from Chinese Modern Aboriginal people are the result of the assimilation of these two genetic lineages.
Modern humans had reached Asia by 70,000 years ago before moving down through South-east Asia and into Australia.
“This is exciting because it is seemingly good evidence that humans were eating megafauna,” says Ian Lilley at the University of Queensland.
“We knew that humans and megafauna were on the continent at the same time, but there has been very little reliable evidence that they had anything to do with each other.” The shelter’s occupants may also have been using the skins of megafauna and other animals.
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Excavation of Warratyi rock shelter in the Flinders ranges of South Australia, 200 kilometres inland, found ancient stone hunting tools, the bones of wallabies and other animals, the remains of cooking fires, possible sewing tools and ochre that may have been used as body paint.
Archaeological evidence shows that modern humans had reached South-east Asia by 70,000 years ago and that they had spread to Australia by at least 50,000 years ago.