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Aboriginal tools discovered from iron mine triggers discussions for preservation

2008.04.14 Hisayo Takada

In Australia, indigenous aboriginal culture and mine development frequently come into conflict. At Hope Downs, one of the biggest iron ore mine in Australia, located in Pilbara region in western Australia, a large amount of stone tools that date back some 35,000 years were discovered.

Most of the stone tools are simple cutlery. Mr. Slim Parker, a senior elder of aboriginal descent who lives in this area told the local media, "We have always known this is an important part of our history, that our ancestors lived here. Our stories and songs tells us this. It is a good feeling to know archaeologists have proved what we say is true. "

Archaeologist, Neale Draper, who did the research has reported that for Australia, this is one of the most important historical discoveries ever made. He also states that a large amount of information about the climate change that occurred after the last ice age, when people first started to settle in this area, can be gathered from this discovery.

Co-owners of the mine, Rio Tinto and Hancock Prospecting, have shown their understanding for such research and are in discussion with the local Aboriginal people who have asked that the area from which the tools were excavated as well as the surrounded areas be preserved.

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Australia (Asia/Oceania

Hisayo Takada

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