Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Willandra Lakes

Semi-arid region about 1000 km west of Sydney in southwest New South Wales, that contains significant archaeological material pertaining to the settlement of Australia by AMHs. During the Pleistocene epoch (between 45 and 25 kya) the region consisted of 17 lakes, all of which dried up c. 14 kya. One of the largest of these lakes was located with others along Willandra Creek, a tributary of the Lachlan River; freshwater Lake Mungo covered about 135 km2. Its desiccated lake bed and landforms are a rich source of Pleistocene-age fossils, including hominids, who occupied the site by at least 40 kya, coincident with flake tools and, later, grinders. The region became a World Heritage Site in 1981.

See Mungo.

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