Archaeologists have discovered a 7,000-year-old site submerged along Australia’s continental shelf.

The discovery is the first of its kind; scientists have never before found preserved Aboriginal artifacts off of Australia’s coast. This expedition located over 260 artifacts.

Australia’s human history runs deep, stretching back over 60,000 years. However, artifacts and dig sites are hard to come by.

Why’s That?

Well, at the end of the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago, glaciers melted and covered about ⅓ of Australia’s habitable land with water. This means most of Australia’s archaeological history is underwater. 

“A lot of our understanding of Australian Indigenous archaeology is based on sites that would have been significantly further inland,” Chelsea Wiseman, a scientist involved in the expedition says. “This discovery will help indicate that there is more to be found offshore.”

The team used lidar and sonar technologies to locate the artifacts; similar techniques to those used in the recent findings in Mexico and at Stonehenge

These new technologies, combined with the proof of preserved underwater sites, paints an exciting picture for the future of archaeology.