Boodie Cave on Barrow Island is yielding an ancient secret of global significance: resourceful, well-fed humans were living in its limestone chambers more than 50,000 years ago, several thousand years earlier than archaeologists had estimated.
UWA researcher and PhD student Kane Ditchfield excavating Boodie Cave, on Barrow Island off Western Australia [Credit: Ingrid Ward]
The startling evidence has been unearthed in surgically excavated pits on Barrow, Western Australia’s second largest island, 50km off the Pilbara coast.
Thousands of tiny artefacts lie in sediment dated to 50,000 years old in an Oxford University laboratory, where 200 single sand grains were measured by optically stimulated luminescence.
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