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AFP
July 8, 2019

Aboriginal site gains World Heritage recognition

World

AFP
July 8, 2019

SYDNEY: An Aboriginal settlement older than the pyramids that provides evidence that indigenous Australians developed sophisticated aquaculture thousands of years ago has been granted World Heritage status, the UN has announced.

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape in southeast Australia was created by the Gunditjmara nation some 6,600 years ago and includes remnants of elaborate stone channels and pools built to harvest eels from a lake and wetland swamp areas.

The site also holds evidence of stone dwellings that counter the myth that Aboriginal peoples were simply nomadic hunter-gatherers with no established settlements or sophisticated means of food production.

Unesco’s World Heritage committee, in announcing the addition of Budj Bim to its global listing on Saturday, said the site showed the Gunditjmara had developed "one of the largest and oldest aquaculture networks in the world." The system of stone channels, dams and pools were used to contain floodwaters and create basins to trap, store and harvest eels that provided the population with "an economic and social base for six millennia", it said.

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