Scientists at Flinders University used subsurface imaging and aerial surveys to see through the floodplains of the Red Lily Lagoon region in West Arnhem Land, northern Australia.
These landmark methods showed how this important landscape of the Northern Territory changed when sea levels rose some 8,000 years ago.
Their findings show that the sea reached this present-day inland area, and have important implications for understanding the archaeological record of Australia’s oldest site, Majebebe.
The findings also provide a new way to understand the rock art of this region, which is recognized worldwide for its importance and distinctive style.
By examining how the sediments now buried beneath the floodplain changed with sea-level rise, the researchers found that changes in Red Lily Lagoon may have influenced fauna and marine life in areas of ancient indigenous rock art. You can learn how the mangroves, which have supported living things, have grown. located. This change fostered an environment that inspired the subjects and animals of ancient rock paintings.
Their findings, published in a scientific journal, pro swan Today, researchers say that environmental changes in lagoons are reflected in rock art, as fish, crocodiles and birds appeared in art as floodplains changed to support freshwater habitats for new species. says.
Dr. Jarad Knowlesser, senior author and researcher in the Department of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University, says mapping will fundamentally change the archaeological understanding of Arnhem Land’s stunning landscape.
“This is an important landscape for understanding early human occupation in Australia. Reconstruction of the Red Lily Lagoon has enabled effective predictive modeling of prominent cultural heritage sites, and has enabled us to explore the potential of indigenous cultural materials. It provides an important way of interpreting existence and origin.”
“The timing of the rock art coincides with broader environmental changes we understand to have occurred in this landscape. This is evident from the emergence of animal species in art.The inclusion of freshwater species such as fish and birds can be seen in the most recent art styles of the region. It reflects the stages.
“Based on the results of this study, all Pleistocene sites in western Arnhem Land were located near the sea and were subsequently mangrove swamps at some point during the transformation of the landscape. It has important implications for the geographic setting and should be considered in interpreting changes in isotopic composition of stone artifacts, food sources and materials from this period of the first Australians.
According to co-author Associate Professor Ian Moffat, electrical resistance tomography (ERT) is a rapid, low-cost, non-invasive method that can map vast areas of Australia to better understand ancient history. can.
“We show how ERT data can be used to develop landscape models that help us understand known sites and predict where buried ruins may be. -Invasive method. This has important implications not only for finding new sites, but also for developing a more nuanced understanding of the geography of the region and its influence on past human behavior.”
“The Red Lily Lagoon is of exceptional archaeological importance in Arnhem Land because it lies on one of the easternmost floodplains of the Eastern Alligator River. The present-day river, Arnhem Plateau, Forming an important boundary between lowland floodplains and sandstone, the highlands have been occupied by humans for over 60,000 years and are home to countless important rock art panels, including some of Australia’s most iconic rock art panels. It’s the place of the place.”
Traditional owner and co-author Alfred Nayinggull explains the importance of this research: