The Ancient Lake Bed that Rewrote Human History



Image: Esbjorn

A lunette stands mountain-like, while a nearby tree takes what it can from the parched environment.

Up to 30,000 years ago, this corner of south-eastern Australia was a paradise. Fish swam in deep freshwater lakes, giant versions of kangaroos and flightless birds grazed around the lush surrounding vegetation, and in sheltered camps people lived peaceful lives without want. Perhaps children played, splashing about in the water at the lake’s edge, while adults chatted about the day’s hunt and cooked their evening meal on open fires.


Image: Esbjorn

Lunettes, crescent shaped sand dunes, known as the “Walls of China”

Then, 16,000 years ago, the lakes dried up and became the arid land of dunes and scrubby bush it is today. Gone are the fish and large mammals that lived there. Only the people, the aboriginal Paakantji, the Mutthi Mutthi and the Ngiyampaa tribes of the region remain. The place is now known as Lake Mungo National Park, a World Heritage Park that holds a very special place in human history.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT