History recently lost out in favor of industry in Australia, when a 46,000-year-old aboriginal cave was blown up by a mining company.
The Juukan Gorge 1 and 2 rock shelter caves were destroyed the metal-mining company Rio Tinto last month. The caves, located in Western Australia, in the Pilbara region, are one of the country’s oldest aboriginal heritage sites, with signs of continuous signs human occupation that predate the last Ice Age, according to a report in the Independent.
Despite the fact that the incident is now being called an ‘incomprehensible mistake,’ it appears that the company knew about the site and its significance at least six years ago.
In 2014, an archaeologist named Michael Slack confirmed that the Juukan 2 cave was unique in the Pilbara area, and rare across Australia as a whole.
The site held evidence of more than 40,000 years of ongoing human habitation, and contained large numbers of artifacts, including objects made of flaked stone, stone tools, bits of human hair, and an unusually large supply of animal remains.
It also contained sedimentary material with enough of a pollen record that scientists could track thousands of years’ worth of environmental changes.
Read more: Outdoor Revival