When did Australia’s human history begin?
The Conversation, CC BY16.6 MB (download)
Today's episode of Essays On Air, the audio version of our Friday essay series, seeks to move beyond the view of ancient Australia as a timeless and traditional foundation story.
From the tropics of Borneo, Darren Curnoe posted a daily diary sharing his team's dig to explore ancient cemeteries. Through two metres of clay, human bones and tools were discovered.
Archaeology is not only about stones and bones: it is mainly about the people of the past. DNA is one way to get from the stones and the bones to the people and their stories.
Evolutionary biologists ask very similar questions about species to those asked by linguists about languages.
Evidence of Homo naledi's age suggests we need to rethink our understanding of human history and evolution.
The environment minister recently told a conference that agriculture is as old as 'mankind'. She's out by a few million years.
Ask any anthropologist what they do and they will find it hard to give you a direct answer. But it ultimately comes down to studying people and their culture.
Humans evolved in Africa, spread across the world, and then it gets messy. Luckily advances in genetic sequencing have helped us track the complex history of human migration.