A group of researchers from the University of Queensland and the Australian National University have found evidence of the first documented human migration to the Great Barrier Island from Siberia, about 10,600 years ago.
The research team found that the first human arrivals to the area were the same people who later colonised the continent.
The migration was a huge change in the climate and culture of the region, and the researchers say the event is one of the earliest documented human migrations to the world’s largest archipelago.
The team’s findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, could shed light on the spread of diseases such as smallpox and other diseases in the region that would have been far more widespread had humans not colonised Australia.
The Great Barrier’s history The research is based on the discovery of an archaeological site in Siberia that dates back about 10 000 years.
The site, known as the Sibyla-Tuk, contains evidence of human occupation of the area, dating from at least the 6th century BC, according to the University.
Researchers discovered the remains of people living in an ancient settlement called the Uchishen, who may have been responsible for constructing the site.
The Uchi-Tusan settlement was a farming village that included the first modern dwelling structures, and its occupants likely relied on the nearby river for water, according the University’s research.
The researchers say their findings could shed new light on early human migration in the world.
“The Great Barrier archipelagic archipelagos are a place where people have been living for millennia,” said Professor Richard Wrangham from the Department of Geography at the University, who was not involved in the research.
“If we have some information on the migration of the population, we can understand how it came to Australia and how it changed.”
The scientists found the people living at the site are likely descendants of the people who had colonised Siberia more than a century before the Great War.
The first inhabitants of the Great River Basin in Australia are thought to have arrived around 10 000 BC, when the first settlement of the continent began.
The scientists have also uncovered an earlier period of human settlement, during the Bronze Age.
The archaeologists said the early people who lived in the area would have had a very different lifestyle compared to those who colonised South America.
“We’ve found evidence that the people of the site who lived here in the Bronze age would have practised agriculture much more like our modern-day people,” said Dr. Matthew Fergusson from the Australian Museum.
“There’s evidence of people growing food on their own.
They probably ate a lot of fruits and vegetables.”
The team used the genetic material from a group of individuals living at a site in the city of Tatarstan, near the northern edge of the archipelageway, which is now called the Great Arctic.
“This was a very rich site, and we were able to get some really good sequences of DNA from that,” said lead author Dr. Sarah McNeill.
“It really helps us to understand the history of this place.”
It was during this time that the researchers found a group that would later become the Aboriginal people who live in the northern parts of the Australian mainland.
Dr. Fergudd said that the group would have travelled along the Great North Coast, where the first settlers came from.
“They were already here a long time ago, so they knew the coast, and they had knowledge about the region,” he said.
“Their DNA is very close to the population from Siberia at that time.”
The research was funded by the Australian Research Council and the Victorian Government.
The Australian Geographic Society is also celebrating the discovery with an event in Hobart, on Saturday, where participants will learn more about the archaeological site.
For more information, go to www.ancientmigrations.com.au.