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Devil's Lair (Australia)



Devil's Lair is an archaeological cave site located in Western Australia, which earliest has been dated to approximately 41,000-46,000 years ago and perhaps earlier still. The site is a large limestone cave consisting of four nested hearths, the lowest of which has been dated using OSL to between 41,200-46,500 years ago, consistent with radiocarbon dates on younger layers.

Very few artifacts have been recovered from these layers, and some of them may have been washed into the cave by erosion. The site was excavated by Charles Dortch in the 1970s.


This glossary entry is part of the About.com Guide to Populating Australia and the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Dortch C. 1979. Devil's Lair, an Example of Prolonged Cave Use in South-Western Australia. World Archaeology 10(3):258-279.

O'Connell JF, and Allen J. 2004. Dating the colonization of Sahul (Pleistocene Australia--New Guinea): A review of recent research. Journal of Archaeological Science 31:835-853.

Turney CSM, Bird MI, Fifield LK, Roberts RG, Smith M, Dortch C, Grun R, Lawson EM, Ayliffe LK, Miller GH et al. 2001. Early Human Occupation at Devil's Lair, Southwestern Australia 50,000 Years Ago. Quaternary Research 55:3-13.

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