Dating the first australians

Nango's tale was more than an aboriginal "dreamtime" story.She was one of the first to hear from Clarkson's team about new scientific dates for the Madjedbebe rock shelter in Australia's Arnhem Land, a region the Mirarr still call home.Applying methods that others had developed to analyse a similar dataset from North American artifacts, Williams graphed the number of data points for each 200-year period, and made the assumption that for each given area, changes in the number of data points from one period to the next were a good indication of changes in population size — while correcting for the fact that some types of archaeological site can be lost over time owing to processes such as erosion.Assuming that the population would be between 750,000 and 1.2 million by the eighteenth century, he fit a smooth population curve to the data.This early date will force the field to "rethink fundamentally the whole issue of when our species started to colonize Asia," says archaeologist Robin Dennell of the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.The timing of the peopling of Australia has been contentious for decades.The map shows the probable extent of land and water at the time of the last glacial maximum and when the sea level was probably more than 150m lower than today; it illustrates the formidable sea obstacle that migrants would have faced.Yuval Noah Harari has argued that "[t]he journey of the first humans to Australia is one of the most important events in history ...

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She pointed to a spot near the back wall of the red sandstone cliff and told the children that it was a wonderful place for their ancestors—the "old people"—to sleep 65,000 years ago, says Clarkson of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.Many archaeologists split into two camps, favoring settlement either 60,000 years ago or sometime after 50,000 years ago, depending on whether they trusted the dates from certain sites.Last year, geneticists analyzing DNA from living Aborigines joined the fray, but they came up with a wide range of dates, from 50,000 to 70,000 years ago.Repeated episodes of extended glaciation during the Pleistocene epoch resulted in decreases of sea levels by more than 100 metres in Australasia.People appear to have arrived by sea during a period of glaciation, when New Guinea and Tasmania were joined to the continent of Australia.