Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Lake Mungo, Archaeology of

  • Nicola Stern
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_699


Lake Mungo came to the attention of the international paleoanthropological community during the early 1970s following the widely publicized discovery of what were then, and still are, some of the oldest, well-dated traces of human activity on the Australian continent, including the oldest known ritual human burials (Bowler et al. 1970; Barbetti & Allen 1972; Bowler & Thorne 1976; Bowler et al. 2003). However, these are only a few of the thousands of activity traces preserved in the 33-km-long transverse, crescentic dune (lunette) that bounds the eastern margin of Lake Mungo; Lake Mungo is only one of seventeen large and numerous smaller overflow lakes that together cover an area of approximately 2,400 km 2 on the southeast margin of the continent’s arid core (Fig. 1). These lakes are now dry, but at times in the past when temperatures and evaporation were reduced, they were filled via a distributory of the Lachlan River, which is one of three major river systems draining...
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Research in the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area is undertaken with the permission of the Elders’ Council and the Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area and is funded by the Australian Research Council.


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Further Reading

  1. Bowler, J. M. 2002. Lake Mungo: window to Australia’s Past. CD-ROM.Google Scholar
  2. Stern, N. n.d. Latest research. Available at: http://www.visitmungo.com.au/research (accessed 30 August 2011).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities and Social SciencesLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia