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Post  TonyK on Thu 2 Feb - 10:27

This message was posted on the Australian Ceramics Discussion List by Owen Rye:

"I was working years ago in the Prehistory department at ANU and John Mulvaney showed me some fired terracotta pieces from Lake Mungo in western NSW. The aborigines had made cooking hearths but with no stone available for that purpose had made clay balls and fired them. The material was dated to more than 30,000 years ago which makes it the earliest fired ceramic not only in Australia but in the world. This preceded the Venus of Dolni Vestonice, a figurine dated around 25-29000 years ago from what is now the Czech Republic. The earliest known vessels come from Japan about 12,000 years ago."
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Post  Ev on Thu 2 Feb - 10:43

Amazing!
Thanks for sharing that Tony Very Happy
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Post  Jonno on Thu 2 Feb - 21:25

Very interesting Tony, thankyou, did they actually make pottery also?
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Post  TonyK on Fri 3 Feb - 7:13

I don't think so - as far as I know, and I may well be wrong about this as I am about a lot of things, Australian Aborigines pottery production begun with European encouragement in the mid or late-ish 20th century. The decorated pottery of Hermannsburg in the Central Desert is an example of this.
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Post  Jonno on Fri 3 Feb - 7:53

Thanks Tony, interesting that they were able to develop the means of survival in the harsh Australian climate but didn't make the connect between the heat fired hearth balls and the possibility of making containers. I understand that glass was first an accidental fusing from a cooking fire.
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