Pre-colonial Australia

Australian pre-history and the first Indigenous peoples

The prehistory of Australia is the period between the time when the first humans settled on the Australian continent and the colonisation of Australia in 1788. This period is estimated to have lasted between 40,000 and 60,000 years. It is called pre-history as events on the continent began to be documented in written form only after 1788. 

Until recently, it was believed that a small group of people formed the founding population of Australia. Some researchers now believe that between 1000 and 3000 people might have first settled in Australia. This also implies that their settlement might have been deliberate, rather than accidental.

The journey of the first humans to Australia is considered one of the most important events in history, as it is the first evidence of a major sea crossing. The origin of these early humans is, however, debated. The most widely accepted hypothesis, based on the analysis of fossil evidence, i...

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