Australia. Ancient human remains must be buried on indigenous land

The Canberra Executive Department said on Wednesday that the remains of a Mungo man, which dates back more than 40,000 years and is considered the oldest in Australia, and the remains of 107 other ancestors will be buried in Aboriginal lands in the southeast of the country.

“Remains in the Willandra Lakes region may be reburied in accordance with the wishes, rights and interests of the local Aboriginal community,” Australian Environment Minister Susan Lee said in a statement, noting that this process would be carried out to reduce natural erosion of the land. Environment.

The decision comes after the minister ordered an environmental impact assessment of the massive burials of these archaeological remains in the Willandra Lakes region, a dry lake area declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981.

Ley noted that while it is important to document Australia’s history, it is also “equal” to respect cultural rights so that the remains of these 108 ancestors of their original ancestors return to rest in their place of origin after being analyzed, stored and investigated. by scholars.

The Mongo Man, together with Our Lady of the Mongo – who was buried more than 40,000 years ago during the Ice Age and discovered, respectively, in 1974 and 1968 – represent one of the oldest funeral rites on the planet.

The remains of the Mungo man, who were returned to his descendants in November 2017 for burial in a safe and confidential location, were carefully placed with his limbs spread out and his hands crossed over his thighs.

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This Native American ancestor in his fifties was 5’7 inches tall and suffered from severe arthritis.

The team of discoverers of the man of the world, led by Jim Buller of the Australian National University, also found evidence of the funeral rites of this man’s burial as the remains of a campfire whose smoke symbolizes cleanliness.

The discovery of the Mungo Man and the cremated remains of Our Lady of Mungo, returned in 1992, marked a change in archaeologists’ focus on early Australian populations and recognition of the existence of an advanced and complex ancestral culture as well. full of symbolism.

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