Oldest Australian human returned to 42,000-year-old grave

November 17, 2017
Oldest Australian human returned to 42,000-year-old grave
In this image made from video, the oldest human remains in a coffin are unloaded and placed on the ground during a traditional ceremony in Lake Mungo, Australia, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. The human remains found in Australia have been returned to the Outback desert that he roamed some 42,000 years ago in a ceremony celebrated by traditional owners. The ice age Aborigine was dubbed Mungo Man after the dry salt Lake Mungo where he was found in 1974 in remote New South Wales state, west of Sydney. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)

The oldest human remains found in Australian were on Friday returned to the Outback desert that he roamed some 42,000 years ago in a ceremony celebrated by traditional owners.

The ice age Aborigine was dubbed Mungo Man after the dry salt Lake Mungo where he was found in 1974 in remote New South Wales state 750 kilometers (470 miles) west of Sydney.

He was studied in the national capital Canberra at the Australian National University, which handed him back to traditional owners two years ago and formally apologized for the pain caused by his removal.

Local Aborigines burnt eucalypt leaves is a traditional smoking ceremony to welcome the black hearse that carried his remains in a coffin.

An Ngiyampaa tribal elder, who identified herself as Aunty Joan, told reporters: "I'm so glad he is back, to put him in his resting place."

"His spirit will be relieved and then he will be released when we put him back in the ground to his place where he came from," said Aunty Patsy, an elder of the Mutthi Mutthi tribe.

State Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton said indigenous people had been instrumental in bringing Mungo Man back to where he was laid to rest around 42,000 years ago with his hands crossed over his groin and his body sprinkled with ochre.

Oldest Australian human returned to 42,000-year-old grave
In this image made from video, the oldest human remains in a coffin are unloaded from a hearse for a traditional ceremony in Lake Mungo, Australia, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. The human remains found in Australia have been returned to the Outback desert that he roamed some 42,000 years ago in a ceremony celebrated by traditional owners. The ice age Aborigine was dubbed Mungo Man after the dry salt Lake Mungo where he was found in 1974 in remote New South Wales state, west of Sydney. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)

Oldest Australian human returned to 42,000-year-old grave
In this image made from video, the oldest human remains in a coffin are placed on the ground for a traditional ceremony in Lake Mungo, Australia, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. The human remains found in Australia have been returned to the Outback desert that he roamed some 42,000 years ago in a ceremony celebrated by traditional owners. The ice age Aborigine was dubbed Mungo Man after the dry salt Lake Mungo where he was found in 1974 in remote New South Wales state, west of Sydney. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)

Explore further: Conflicting theories of Mungo Man debunked: Research proves Aboriginal Australians were first inhabitants

Related Stories

Aborigines to view Japanese spacecraft on landing

June 11, 2010

Australian Aborigines will be among the first to view a Japanese space probe after it crashes to Earth in the outback this weekend, to ensure it does not affect sacred sites, officials said Friday.

Recommended for you

The oldest plesiosaur was a strong swimmer

December 14, 2017

Plesiosaurs were especially effective swimmers. These long extinct "paddle saurians" propelled themselves through the oceans by employing "underwater flight"—similar to sea turtles and penguins. Paleontologist from the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.