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Lake Mungo (Australia)

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Lake Mungo, Australia

Lake Mungo, Australia

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Definition:

Lake Mungo is the name of several archaeological sites, located in 13 inter-connected dry lake basins, located in western New South Wales, Australia. Discovered in the 1960s, the site has been excavated by geomorphologists and archaeologists to establish both the chronological and geologic age and status of its deposits.

Radiocarbon dates and luminescence dates have been produced on several of the localities, marking the Upper Mungo deposits as between 16 and 42,000 years bp, and 18 from the Lower Mungo, between 16,000 and 45,000 years ago. Five dates on the locality called Joulni are in the 40-44,000 year range.

Lake Mungo contains a burial at the Joulni locality that may be dated about 45,000 bp. The site also includes stone tools, hearths, roasting pits, and shallow middens.

Lake Mungo was excavated by J.M Bowler and various scholars at the Australian National University.

Sources

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

Although I haven't seen it, primary researcher J.M. Bowler has produced a CD of the results at Lake Mungo with maps and data on it, which can be obtained through the Lake Mungo website.

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

Thorne, Alan, et al. 1999 Australia's oldest human remains: age of the Lake Mungo 3 skeleton. Journal of Human Evolution 36:591-612.

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