Aboriginal people lived in Australia's desert interior 50,000 years ago
Karnatukul during excavation in 2014, note the square holes dug below the rock walls.. Peter Veth, Author provided
New evidence shows that people have lived inland in Western Australia for more than 50,000 years. That's 10,000 years earlier than previously known for Australian deserts.
The finding comes from archaeological work performed at the request of the traditional custodians of the land, and published today in PLOS One.
The research took place at the desert rock shelter site of Karnatukul (previously known as Serpent's Glen), around 800 kilometres southeast of Exmouth - more than 1,000km from where the coastline would have been at this earlier time.
Read more: When did Aboriginal people first arrive in Australia"
It shows that people occupied the sandy deserts of interior Australia very soon after settling the north of the continent more than 50,000 years ago.
The paper reports some of the earliest evidence of people living in deserts, not just in Australia, but anywhere in the world.
Excavations old and new
Karnatukul was first investigated by archaeologists in the 1990s. At that time it became known as the oldest Western Desert site, occupied at least 25,000...