Signs of a traditional woman dating old fashion
All of these species are still found in the nearby Darling, Murray, Murrumbidgee and Lachlan rivers.Organic remains can be directly dated using radiocarbon analysis, and of course they tell us what the people were eating.The local Willandra stone is silcrete, a kind of fossil soil cemented together with silica in a natural process of water leaching.Layers of silcrete outcrop in places in the lakebeds, and most of these outcrops show signs of extensive quarrying by the ancient Willandra people.At Willandra, the accumulated remains of shellfish, fish, yabbies and mammals have all been found.By the fact that they are burnt, or of a consistent size, or otherwise arranged in ways that could not have happened naturally, archaeologists can usually tell if they were left by humans.So where did all this stone come from in a landscape of sand and clay?Some of it is local but much also comes from far away.
Analysis of the stone has shown many hatchets in western New South Wales originated from axe quarries in central Victoria, some 400km to the south of Mungo.A scatter of waste flakes often indicates a campsite where people worked on tools, or knapped flakes from a core to use straight away - flakes are sort of throwaway knives, they can have razor sharp edges and can be used immediately but often break or become blunt.Stones that have been deliberately knapped show tell-tale features that are readily recognised by a trained eye.But by far the most common pieces of rock are waste flakes and cores, left over from knapping, a term used to describe the manufacture or maintenance of flaked stone artefacts.There are large quantities of flaked stone spread over the Willandra landscape, and indeed across most landscapes in Australia, especially in the inland - which gives some measure of how long Aboriginal people have been living here and working stone.
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Shells can naturally accumulate along old lake beaches, for instance, but they will be mixed sizes, not burnt and often broken and worn by wave action.