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Wilgie Mia (Australia)


Definition: Wilgie Mia is an immense prehistoric ochre mine, located in the Weld Range of the Murchison region of Western Australia, approximately 70 km north-west of Cue. The mine was used at least 1000 years ago, and perhaps much longer; ochre from its resources has been found throughout Western Australia and perhaps as far as central Queensland.

The hillside at Wilgie Mia has an opening of 30 meters wide and 20 meters deep, with shafts excavated following red and yellow ochre deposits. The main pit area included quarrying tools such as mauls and wooden wedges, to a depth of almost six meters, suggesting use of Wilgie Mia for many thousands of years, although dates have yet to be established. Wilgie Mia is an important site for aboriginal peoples of Australia.


Mulvaney, John and Johan Kamminga. 1999. The Prehistory of Australia. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology. Sources for the term include the references listed on the front page of the Dictionary, and the websites listed in the sidebar.

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