Mungo Man returns home

AUSTRALIA’S oldest human remains will be returned to Lake Mungo in southwest New South Wales tomorrow, after first being discovered in 1974.

The hearse carrying the ancient remains left Canberra earlier this week and will arrive at Lake Mungo on Friday, November 17.

La Trobe University Archaeologist, Nicola Stern, leads a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research project investigating the long history of human settlement at Lake Mungo, in the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area.

Dr Stern is investigating archaeological traces to build a picture of the diet and foraging activities, technologies and social networks that sustained peoples’ lives in the this climatically sensitive area on the edge of the continent’s arid core in the past 50,000 years.

The research project was established in response to an initiative by Elders concerned about the loss of this extraordinary archive to ongoing erosion.

Members of the research team work in close collaboration with Elders and with the Aboriginal Advisory Group from the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area.

Dr Stern is available for interviews and comment on the return of the Mungo Man remains and can be contacted on 0409 679 700

Dr Nicola Stern, biography

Dr Stern is interested in the contribution that archaeology makes to the understanding of the human story. Her research interests straddle both ends of the archaeological time scale and include the earliest archaeological traces in East Africa and the more recent record of Australia. A general interest in the problem of how we know what we think we know about the distant past has spawned more specific interests including investigation of the way sites form, the information that can be generated from chipped stone artefacts and the behavioural information that can be generated from agglomerations of material remains scattered across ancient landscapes. She has a particular interest in the way in which site formation processes and time structure the archaeological record and the implications of this for the information archaeologists can hope to generate about the past.

Media Contact: Sally Heppleston – s.heppleston@latrobe.edu.au - 9479 5353 / 0408 556 018

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