Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:


Early signs of human presence in Australia


It emerges that people reached Australia earlier than was thought. This finding casts light on the technology used by the travellers, and their possible interactions with animal species that became extinct. See Article p.306

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: The optically stimulated luminescence dating technique.
Figure 2: Excavation at Madjedbebe, Australia.


  1. See all news & views


  1. Clarkson, C. et al. Nature 547, 306–310 (2017).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Malaspinas, A.-S. Nature 538, 207–214 (2016).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. O'Connell, J. F. & Allen, J. J. Archaeol. Sci. 56, 73–84 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Jacobs, Z. & Roberts, R. G. Evol. Anthropol. 16, 210–223 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Kamminga, J. & Allen, H. Alligator Rivers Environmental Fact Finding Study: Report of the Archaeological Survey (Australian Government, 1973).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Roberts, R. G., Jones, R. & Smith, M. A. Nature 345, 153–156 (1990).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Surovell, T. A. & Grund, B. S. Am. Antiq. 77, 672–687 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Hamm, G. et al. Nature 539, 280–283 (2016).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Curtis W. Marean.

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

Archaeology: Unexpectedly early signs of Americans

Palaeoanthropology: On the origin of our species

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Marean, C. Early signs of human presence in Australia. Nature 547, 285–286 (2017).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing