Ruins of Ancient City Discovered in Australian Desert

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Alice Springs| A team of archaeologists working for the Australian National University, who were proceeding to an excavation near the sandstone rock formation of Uluru, has unearthed the ruins of a large precolonial city dating back to more than 1500 years ago. The important number of tombs and artefacts already discovered on the site suggests that it could have been the capital of an ancient empire, completely unknown to historians until now.

The site which was first noticed on satellite pictures taken in October 2013, using a newly developed ground-penetrating radar. The images revealed many 90° angles and various common geographic figures over a 16 km2 area, leading the team of scientists to direct some archaeological excavations on the spot, starting in May 2014. Over the last few months, many structures have been unearthed including what looks like a royal palace, a few temples, large rainwater reservoirs, workshops and dozens of houses.

287 individual tombs have already been discovered, but the archaeologist have not yet found the tomb of any royal figure.

287 individual tombs have already been discovered in a small necropolis located just outside the ancient city. The bodies are mostly of proto-aboriginal origins, but also surprisingly include a few Polynesian and Asian individuals.

Professor Walter Reese, in charge of the site, claims that the extent of the site and the superposition of various layers of constructions, suggests that it was occupied for 400 to 500 years, from approximately 470-80 AD, up until the 9th Century. He believes that the city could have held between 20000 and 30000 inhabitants, making it the most important center of civilization in the Southern Pacific at the time.

“This was certainly the capital of a vast empire, that practised some sort of international trade” says Mr Reese. “The fact that we have discovered some bodies of various origins suggests that this state could have been a very influential throughout the Pacific islands and Southeast Asia. We have found many objects on the site that were obviously imported from other regions, like rice, flax or lacquer.”

The various artefacts gathered from the site suggest that the city flourished thanks to some form of control over various gold mining operations in Southern Australia. The precious metal was purified and transformed by the hundreds of goldsmiths of the city before being traded for various other goods through  an extensive network reaching as far as New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and even China and India.

Thousands of artefacts have been recovered, including some 756 items made of gold. This bowl weighting 2.8 kilograms was found inside one of the temples.

Thousands of artefacts have been recovered, including some 756 items made of gold. This bowl weighting 2.8 kilograms was found inside one of the temples.

Professor Reese believes that the city could have been abandoned after some climatic changes in the 9th Century brought a dramatic decrease in the level of rainfall, making the city unsustainable.

10 Comments on "Ruins of Ancient City Discovered in Australian Desert"

  1. Why do some of you have to be so horrible and rude? Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, even if you don’t agree with it. Just saying.

  2. Those early civilised people were my great(x10)-grandparents, and I hereby claim the land known as Australia as my sovereign domain. You may all be grateful and kneel before me!

    • Clint Jebbink | September 10, 2014 at 11:55 am |

      Me too. I claim this whole planet cause my ancestors go way back to the start of our species, oh wait so do yours. Maybe we should all be gratefull and kneel before the planet we call earth lol just saying, regards Clint

    • susan gillespie | September 15, 2014 at 8:42 am |

      Go for it, Jonno!

  3. Strange that the same image purports to show an ancient civilisation in Sudan. Is it April 1st already??

  4. One Word…. Atlantis. I’ve read enough about it to know a big part of it was off our coast so it was probably that tribe. Doesn’t matter who was here first, we all have two arms, Two legs and a Heartbeat. It’s all of our responsibility to look after the planet so what does it matter what Race they were? It’s interesting all the same.

    • Clint Jebbink | September 10, 2014 at 11:41 am |

      Bonnie well said. All lands were joined at some stage and our timeline goes back to then. All one species then lands drifted apart and evolution took over. We can’t get along cause that’s human nature and were all part of it. One thing is for sure us locusts will be extinct one day from this earth which will be to the bennifit of this world, in the mean time be nice to each other cause we are a grit of sand in a desert. Which is a grit of sand in another desert and it goes on beyond our comprehension. I love that we just are and don’t know why. Regards Clint

  5. Caroline Storm | September 9, 2014 at 8:25 am | Reply

    So much for dear leader, who only last week, in trying to educate us all, managed to deeply offend every person of aboriginal descent, and most persons of any other, by planning a grand statue of Hotham, stating that the day that he and the first fleet arrived was the day that this land began to become the great nation it is now.
    Indigenous people were designing and building this city when Abbott’s ancestors were running around clothed in blue woad!!

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