Kakadu food scraps provide ancient rainfall clues

26 Jan 2021

Archaeologists are generating a 65,000-year-old rainfall record from ancient food scraps found at Australia’s earliest-known site of human occupation.

University of Queensland researcher Dr Anna Florin said the research was giving a glimpse into the Kakadu region’s environment from the time when people first entered the continent from the north.

“Using the scraps from meals eaten tens of thousands of years ago, we can tell a localised story of climate change and explore its effects on communities living in the Kakadu region through time,” said Dr Florin, who also works with ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage.

Contributors to the joint study include the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, University of Washington, University of Canterbury, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, University of Wollongong and Griffith University.

The study was funded by the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering, the Australian Research Council, the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Dan David Foundation, CABAH, and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

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