Archaeologists have recently discovered the remains of an extravagant kangaroo cook-out that was held 20,000 years ago in Pilbara in the Hamersley Ranges of Australia. The feast was held in a rock shelter, which was only just uncovered around 10 years ago before the location was turned into a mining site.
Upon discovery of the cave, archaeologists found stone tools that they were able to date back to approximately 32,000 years ago, making these ancient artifacts the oldest that have ever been found so far in this particular area of Australia, as Smithsonian Magazine reports.
The Pilbara site is currently being excavated, with Michael Slack leading a group of archaeologists. As Slack is currently one of the most knowledgeable individuals in Australia when it comes to to the excavation of indigenous sites, archaeologists have so far uncovered an enormous number of stone tools along with the campfire that had the remains of the kangaroo cook-out still heaped upon it.
While the charcoal is now in the process of being radiocarbon dated, Michael Slack has estimated that the Australian kangaroo feast would have occurred approximately 20,000 years ago after closely analyzing the stones that were found at the site. With regard to the whether the stone tools also found would have been used to have carved the kangaroo, Slack believes that it is indeed probable that they would have been.
“We’ll have to have a look at them under the microscope, but they are the pieces that people were using in the site. A family sitting around a campfire having a meal probably.”
Archeologists recently unearthed an ancient example of an age-old tradition: cook outs. https://t.co/UX3pQoJjXD
— Smithsonian Magazine (@SmithsonianMag) June 1, 2018
The site of the kangaroo cook-out is just one of many rock shelters in the area, with archaeologists having discovered 200 in the region over the past seven years. These finds are extremely important as they will help researchers learn more about the Aboriginal people who are estimated to have been in the Pilbara region for the past 40,000 years, according to Slack.
“We know that Aboriginal people got to the inland Pilbara around 40,000 years ago but we don’t know what happened to them after that. This work has dramatic impact in terms of our understanding of the settlement and the antiquity of occupation of Aboriginal people in Australia.”
Michael Slack went on to describe the excitement archaeologists feel the moment they discover ancient artifacts, noting that sites like these could be found anywhere and at any time.
“It’s one of those jobs where you never know what the next hour or minute is going to find for you. It might be nothing, but every time you put a little trowel in the ground and touch something, it could be something really exciting.”
As further excavations continue at this Pilbara site in Australia, archaeologists are now eagerly awaiting the radiocarbon dating results of the kangaroo bones that are estimated to be 20,000-years-old.