Research NewsArchaeology

Young Ages for Australian Rock Art

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Science  29 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5368, pp. 1351
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5368.1351

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Summary

Two years ago, archaeologists dated a remote rock shelter called Jinmium in the Northern Territory of Australia at 116,000 to 176,000 years old, which would have made it by far the earliest trace of humans in Australia and its circular carvings the oldest known rock art in the world. But now the results are in from a painstaking effort to redate Jinmium, and in this week's issue of Nature, a research team reports that Jinmium's age is a completely unremarkable 10,000 years. The new dates are said to "nail the coffin shut" on the claim that humans have been in Australia two to three times longer than previously thought.

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