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January 12 2013

Did Mega-Drought Kill Ancient Aboriginal Culture?


A 1,500-year drought in Australia may have led to the demise of an ancient aboriginal culture, a new study suggests.

The results, published Nov. 28 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, show that geological traces of a mega-drought in the northwest Kimberley region of Western Australia coincide with a gap and transition in the region's rock art style. The finding suggests that the people who lived prior to the drought, called the Gwion, either left the region or dramatically altered their culture as a result of the drought, and a new culture called the Wanjinda eventually took its place.

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