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Australia bushfires unearth a 6,600-year-old Indigenous fish-trapping system

www.newsweek.com • January 24, 2020

The Australian bushfires have unearthed parts of a 6,600-year-old indigenous fish-trapping system in southwest Victoria.

Flames swept through the state earlier in the season, unveiling new sections of the structure previously hidden by vegetation in the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape.

The landscape is centered around the state's youngest volcano, Budj Bim (formerly Mount Eccles). Thousands of years ago, the site was transformed into a freshwater aquaculture system to capture fish and eels by the people of Gunditjmara, who manipulated existing lava flows to boost fish supply. Some of the oldest sections are 6,600 years old—predating the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge and the Great Wall of China.

According to nonprofit the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, it is one of the oldest examples of an aquaculture system in the world. The landscape was declared a World Heritage Site in July 2019.

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