12,000-year-old ritual passed down 500 generations may be world’s oldest

by | Jul 4, 2024 | Science

Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news on fascinating discoveries, scientific advancements and more.Buried deep in an Australian cave, archaeologists have uncovered evidence that an Aboriginal ritual may have been passed down 500 generations and survived 12,000 years, making it the oldest known continuous cultural practice in the world, according to a new study.While investigating Cloggs Cave, situated near Buchan – a small Australian town about 350 kilometers (217 miles) east of Melbourne – researchers found a piece of wood protruding out of the ground. They cut it, and used carbon dating to determine it’s 12,000 years old, from towards the end of the last Ice Age.“And we were going ‘Wow, what’s this?’ Bruno David, a professor at the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre in Australia who co-authored the paper, said in a recorded conversation shared with CNN. “12,000-year-old artifacts don’t survive in the ground for that long. Normally they just disintegrate.”They also uncovered another wooden stick which, though 1,000 years younger, was remarkably similar. Both sticks were smeared with animal or human fat, found next to miniature fireplaces, and both had been “fleetingly burnt,” as detailed in a Nature Human Behaviour article published Monday.The two wooden sticks were dated to 11,000 and 12,000 years old. – courtesy of GLaWACDavid and his colleagues at Monash University were approached in 2017 by the GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), which represents the GunaiKurnai people, to investigate the archaeological evidence of this ritual, which had previously been documented by the 19th-century geologist and ethnographer Alfred Howitt.Howitt detailed the rituals carried out in Cloggs Cave by powerful GunaiKurnai people whom he dubbed “sorcerers,” “wizards,” or “medicine men and women,” but who are known as “mulla-mullung” among the GunaiKurnai people.Their rituals wo …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnSign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news on fascinating discoveries, scientific advancements and more.Buried deep in an Australian cave, archaeologists have uncovered evidence that an Aboriginal ritual may have been passed down 500 generations and survived 12,000 years, making it the oldest known continuous cultural practice in the world, according to a new study.While investigating Cloggs Cave, situated near Buchan – a small Australian town about 350 kilometers (217 miles) east of Melbourne – researchers found a piece of wood protruding out of the ground. They cut it, and used carbon dating to determine it’s 12,000 years old, from towards the end of the last Ice Age.“And we were going ‘Wow, what’s this?’ Bruno David, a professor at the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre in Australia who co-authored the paper, said in a recorded conversation shared with CNN. “12,000-year-old artifacts don’t survive in the ground for that long. Normally they just disintegrate.”They also uncovered another wooden stick which, though 1,000 years younger, was remarkably similar. Both sticks were smeared with animal or human fat, found next to miniature fireplaces, and both had been “fleetingly burnt,” as detailed in a Nature Human Behaviour article published Monday.The two wooden sticks were dated to 11,000 and 12,000 years old. – courtesy of GLaWACDavid and his colleagues at Monash University were approached in 2017 by the GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC), which represents the GunaiKurnai people, to investigate the archaeological evidence of this ritual, which had previously been documented by the 19th-century geologist and ethnographer Alfred Howitt.Howitt detailed the rituals carried out in Cloggs Cave by powerful GunaiKurnai people whom he dubbed “sorcerers,” “wizards,” or “medicine men and women,” but who are known as “mulla-mullung” among the GunaiKurnai people.Their rituals wo …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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