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Prolonged coexistence of humans and megafauna in Pleistocene Australia

Prolonged coexistence of humans and megafauna in Pleistocene Australia
Prolonged coexistence of humans and megafauna in Pleistocene Australia
Recent claims for continent wide disappearance of megafauna at 46.5 thousand calendar years ago (ka) in Australia have been used to support a "blitzkrieg" model, which explains extinctions as the result of rapid overkill by human colonizers. A number of key sites with megafauna remains that significantly postdate 46.5 ka have been excluded from consideration because of questions regarding their stratigraphic integrity. Of these sites, Cuddie Springs is the only locality in Australia where megafauna and cultural remains are found together in sequential stratigraphic horizons, dated from 36-30 ka. Verifying the stratigraphic associations found here would effectively refute the rapid-overkill model and necessitate reconsideration of the regional impacts of global climatic change on megafauna and humans in the lead up to the last glacial maximum. Here, we present geochemical evidence that demonstrates the coexistence of humans and now-extinct megafaunal species on the Australian continent for a minimum of 15 ka.
archeology, extinction, geochemistry, rare earth element, climate change
0027-8424
8381-8385
Trueman, Clive N.G.
d00d3bd6-a47b-4d47-89ae-841c3d506205
Field, Judith H.
6461fdf7-70f6-48c0-a19e-2642e3862170
Dortch, Joe
6af1ea39-10e9-4188-868c-37a6a8712a33
Charles, Bethan
896be395-da92-44a8-89ce-81bc7556d3f9
Wroe, Stephen
ebe4fc21-1d6e-48a1-90ee-b481268fa241
Trueman, Clive N.G.
d00d3bd6-a47b-4d47-89ae-841c3d506205
Field, Judith H.
6461fdf7-70f6-48c0-a19e-2642e3862170
Dortch, Joe
6af1ea39-10e9-4188-868c-37a6a8712a33
Charles, Bethan
896be395-da92-44a8-89ce-81bc7556d3f9
Wroe, Stephen
ebe4fc21-1d6e-48a1-90ee-b481268fa241

Trueman, Clive N.G., Field, Judith H., Dortch, Joe, Charles, Bethan and Wroe, Stephen (2005) Prolonged coexistence of humans and megafauna in Pleistocene Australia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102 (23), 8381-8385. (doi:10.1073/pnas.0408975102).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Recent claims for continent wide disappearance of megafauna at 46.5 thousand calendar years ago (ka) in Australia have been used to support a "blitzkrieg" model, which explains extinctions as the result of rapid overkill by human colonizers. A number of key sites with megafauna remains that significantly postdate 46.5 ka have been excluded from consideration because of questions regarding their stratigraphic integrity. Of these sites, Cuddie Springs is the only locality in Australia where megafauna and cultural remains are found together in sequential stratigraphic horizons, dated from 36-30 ka. Verifying the stratigraphic associations found here would effectively refute the rapid-overkill model and necessitate reconsideration of the regional impacts of global climatic change on megafauna and humans in the lead up to the last glacial maximum. Here, we present geochemical evidence that demonstrates the coexistence of humans and now-extinct megafaunal species on the Australian continent for a minimum of 15 ka.

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More information

Published date: 7 June 2005
Keywords: archeology, extinction, geochemistry, rare earth element, climate change
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 37986
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/37986
ISSN: 0027-8424
PURE UUID: de77e151-33ea-4ed1-9e24-4462c22f19d2

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 May 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:40

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