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Australian Story

February 12, 2018
ABC February 12, 2018

When scientist Jim Bowler saw a human skeleton emerging from the sandhills of the remote Willandra Lakes in 1974, he had no idea his chance discovery would radically rewrite Australian history. The full excavation revealed a complete skeleton covered in red ochre and in astonishingly good condition. Scientists would date Mungo Man at around 42,000 years old, pushing back the known date of human occupation in Australia by thousands of years. But for Mungo Man's traditional owners, the Mutthi Mutthi, Ngiyampaa and Paakantyi/Barkandji peoples, his discovery and removal to Canberra was a deep source of upset. When his remains were finally returned to country late last year it was an emotional homecoming for all, including Jim Bowler.

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