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ANCIENT AUSTRALIANS: Where did they come from?

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders [Pre-Contact]

Migration route to Australia 50,000 years ago.


Men and boys outside a humpy (Mia Mia)

Men performing a ceremonial dance (Corroberee)

Additional Resources:

Human Migration: How Historical Theories Change

Aboriginal DNA provides human migration clues.

There is a new theory about the origins of indigenous Australians.  Scientists have used DNA evidence from a lock of hair found in WA in the 1920s to map the early migration of humans from Africa to Australia.

SOURCE: Uploaded on YouTube Sep 23, 2011 [2 mins.]

Scientists have found hundreds of fossilised footprints on a beach on Kangaroo Island. Some of them belong to ancient megafauna, others, to extinct animals like the Tasmanian Tiger. We visited the scientist's lab to find out what you can actually learn from a really old footprint.

SOURCE: ClickView Exchange, screened on ABC TV, August 2017, [Duration: 3:44 min}

Two different views:

The Anthropologists View:

In the past, Anthropologists could make an educated guess about when the Aboriginal people first came to Australia from the artifacts they found in Arnhem Land.  They predicted it was between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago. Since the discovery of Mungo Man and Mungo Lady in New South Wales, anthropologists now know that the Aboriginal people came to Australia at least 42,000 years ago and possibly longer. That was when large mega-fauna roamed the land and Australia was a very different country.

First Contacts: European and Aboriginal Views

Historians explain some common early views that the Europeans and the Aboriginal people had of one another. Some Aboriginal people thought that the Europeans were ghosts, and some Europeans thought that the Aboriginal people were savages. Despite early mutual curiosity, conflicting views about land use and laws eventually led to Aboriginal dispossession of land, and the assimilation policies of Federation.

SOURCE: ClickView, Rated E, [5:38 mins]

The Aboriginal People's View:

What do we know about Aboriginal Australians prior to European contact? Historians have used evidence and artefacts to develop a number of theories about when and how Aboriginals migrated to Australia. In contrast, Aboriginal groups have a shared belief system of the Dreamtime, which explains their origins. This clip explores these different perspectives.

Aboriginal Australians: Before Contact. SOURCE: ClickView, 2014.  Rated E [6.39]