Archaeological Discoveries Shed Light on the Maritime History of Indigenous Australians

A team of researchers has made a remarkable discovery of the oldest known pottery pieces in Australia, proving that the Indigenous people of Cape York were skilled artisans in pottery making and exceptional in maritime navigation over 2,000 years ago. This finding adds a new dimension to our understanding of Indigenous Australians’ history and their cultural and maritime connections within the Coral Sea region.

The Puzzle of the Missing Pottery

Researchers have long faced a puzzle due to the absence of traces of Indigenous pottery in Australia, despite numerous fragments of pottery from Southeast Asia being found. However, a recent discovery on Jiigurru Island, part of the Lizard Island group in the Great Barrier Reef, has shed new light on this mystery.

Archaeological Discovery on Jiigurru Island

Researchers found fragments of locally made pottery buried two meters below the surface at an archaeological site containing piles of shells and food remains, dating back to approximately 6,500 years ago. These discoveries highlight the meticulous craftsmanship of Indigenous Australians in utilizing natural resources to create pottery.

Dating and Importance of the Discovery

Carbon dating analyses revealed that the discovered pottery dates back between 2,950 and 1,815 years, making it the oldest securely dated pottery found in Australia. This discovery is significant as it provides insights into the history of pottery in the region and its connection to local culture.

Craftsmanship and Fine Details

Researchers also discovered 82 pottery pieces at depths of 40-80 cm, bearing colorful decorations and engraved lines, showcasing the Indigenous people’s skills in art and craft.

Implications of the Discovery

The findings confirm that Indigenous Australians had been making and using pottery for thousands of years. They also highlight cultural and maritime connections with other peoples across the Coral Sea, indicating that Indigenous Australians were not isolated from the outside world.

Indigenous Australians’ Mastery of Navigation

The results suggest that Indigenous Australians relied on ancient maritime networks to learn from other cultures in the Coral Sea region. This showcases their expertise in utilizing local waters and advanced navigational skills that allowed them to explore and navigate their maritime estates over 6,000 years ago.

The National Indigenous Cultural Centre (NICC) is an Indigenous home.

We provide Indigenous products, music, art and news. If you want Indigenous gifts and merchandise, bush tucker food at your next event or Indigenous entertainment at your next party, expo or conference, feel free to contact us!

Visit our page:
Tony Clemenger.
Chief Executive Officer.
Tel: 0419431649.
Level 1 397 Chapel Street South Yarra 3141.

Write a comment