CAS (Canberra Archaeological Society) Lecture

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

The Cultural Riches of Ancient S.E. Australia: From Cloggs Cave to Birrigai to Bogong Cave

Archaeological investigation over the last 50 years of the ancient history of S.E. Australia has revealed a human story going back into the Ice Age. Dr. Flood excavated Cloggs Cave in Eastern Victoria in 1972 but recent re-dating of charcoal and bone (by Dr. Rachel Woods of ANU) suggests that human occupation of the cave goes back beyond 30,000 years. The underlying layer of megafaunal bones is even older and the site is a key one for studying climate change in S.E. Australia.

The oldest site in the ACT is Birrigai Shelter at 25,000 years. At the end of the Ice Age about 10,000 years ago people moved up into the Alps when the moth migrations began in response to climate change. The National Museum is preparing a new exhibit on the story of moth-hunting, including a 1000-year-old pestle used for grinding up the aestivating moths, excavated from Bogong Cave in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.