Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Ancient secrets uncovered


March 10, 2010 06:18am

A STUNNING archaeological discovery at Brighton could change scientific understanding of human occupation.

The discovery of artefacts that could be among the oldest in the world has prompted the State Government to consider adding a multi-million-dollar bridge to its Brighton bypass plans.

In a new development set to rock the scientific world, the artefacts found in the path of the proposed bypass could be twice as old as previously thought.

The discovery of the remains, that preliminary estimates show could be at least 40,000 years old, would give the scientific world a unique glimpse of a previously unknown period of human occupation this far south on the planet.

The remains found in the contentious Jordan River valley section of the $176 million bypass have forced the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources back to the drawing board this week.

Plans have been redrawn to include a 70m elevated bridge span over the site, costing an extra $10 million to $15 million.

With a University of Melbourne report expected to be finalised this week, principal archaeologist Rob Paton has estimated the findings of stone tools and evidence of everyday life could be anywhere up to 40,000 years old. The previous estimate was about 18,000.

It has been estimated that anywhere up to three million artefacts could be uncovered in the 600m by 60m riverbank area.

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