Lake Mungo

In New South Wales and far inland, about 760km west of Sydney, near what used to be Lake Mungo, scientists have found the oldest remains of people ever found in Australia. They think that one of them, a very old ancestor, Mungo Man, was buried there between 45,000 and 40,000 years ago. They think he died when he was about 50 years of age. He was buried on his back, with his hands folded in his lap and he was covered with red ochre. In the area there isn’t any ochre. The nearest place to find ochre is about 200km away. People travelled a long way to get it or maybe they were trading with other groups to get the ochre. Mungo Man suffered from osteoarthritis in his right elbow, maybe from using a spear-thrower/woomera all his life.

In 2015 the remains of Mungo Man and other ancestors were returned to their resting place by the traditional owners, the Paakantji, the Muthi Muthi and the Ngiyampaa people.