Dig reveals ancient life

A MAJOR archaeological study at Ned’s Corner station that started before Christmas has resumed, with researchers and students excavating a shell midden adjacent to the Murray River. 

As Sunraysia Daily reported in a story by Graeme O’Neill on December 28, a three-week survey last year, the first stage of a six-year project, found evidence of 15,000 years of human occupation.

Returning this month for a two-week dig, La Trobe University archaeologist Dr Jillian Garvey said there was evidence to suggest the midden had been used by Aboriginal­ people to cook and eat shellfish collected from the river at various times spanning thousands of years. 

“The floodplains around the Murray River are well known for supporting a large number of people in ancient times, but we’ve found a surprisingly high density of sites of human occupation some distance away from the Murray,” Dr Garvey said. 

“This suggests that many of these sites are older than we expected as they may date from a time when the river took a different path across the floodplain.” 

Dr Garvey is leading the first indigenous archaeology project to be funded by the Australian Research Council in the area. 

For more of this story, purchase your copy of Saturday's Sunraysia Daily 18/01/2014.

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