An Australian man had no idea he was about to make the discovery of a lifetime when he looked for a place to relieve himself while exploring some rugged terrain with a colleague.
Clifford Coulthard is a member of the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA). For those of you who do not know, Adnyamathanha country is located at the northern part of the Flinders Ranges in Adelaide City, Australia. ATLA is an organization representing the Adnyamathanha people
Clifford was exploring areas in the country when he felt the call of nature. Thus, he looked for some privacy in a nearby stream, but he ended up discovering a trail of rock markings.
Suspecting it was an aboriginal rock shelter, Clifford immediately informed his colleague Giles Hamm. They went back to the site, and Giles confirmed that his friend’s discovery was indeed something.
Because of this, they decided to excavate the area in 2011. Soon they discovered that the area could very well be the most ancient aboriginal settlement site inland! According to their research, the shelter housed ancient humans for around 40,000 years until it was abandoned some 10,000 years ago.
Their team found layers of charcoal, ash, animal bones, plant material, egg shells, and paint used for ceremonies. They also unearthed fossils of sixteen different types of mammals and one reptile. Their most astounding discovery was the remains of a Diprotodon optatum, an animal that looked like a wombat marsupial which was the size of a rhino. According to the researchers, this mammal was a food source for the primitive men.
All of the discoveries made during the expedition helped shed light in the way of living of our ancestors. It was found that they were mostly nomadic, only seeking shelter when the weather was less than favorable. They were also strong enough to hunt animals as big as the Diprotodon optatum, putting them high enough in the food chain.