In Australia, an Aboriginal man left his car to use the restroom and wound up stumbling upon a 49,000-year-old treasure — one of Australia’s most important prehistorical sites.
The man, Clifford Coulthard, had to relieve himself but was driving in a rural area about 340 miles north of Adelaide. He stopped his car and walked around to find a place with enough privacy to do his business, eventually finding a rock shelter.
What he didn’t realize was that the rock shelter he found was made by the Aboriginal people who settled there as far back as 49,000 years ago.
Archaeologist Giles Hamm had actually been surveying the gorges with Coulthard in the Flinder Ranges when they made the discovery. The Warratyi Rock site contained a stunning 4,300 artifacts that dated back 49,000 years, including bones that belonged to a rhino-sized marsupial as well as the oldest bone tool ever found in Australia.
The chance discovery has forever changed the previously held belief that the country’s native people didn’t inhabit the red center until around 10,000 years later.
“Nature called and Cliff walked up this creek bed into this gorge and found this amazing spring surrounded by rock art.” Giles told ABC News. “We looked up and there was a blackened wall and we knew that was obviously an indication of people firing inside the shelter.”
Clifford, descended from Aboriginal people himself, stated that this discovery did not surprise his people.
“A lot of the old people said that our people were here a long time,” he said. However, he added, “They are still really interested.”
H/T U.K. Metro
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