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Australia's wildfires, which have been raging since September, have burnt the continent to ashes and revealed extensive water channels built by the indigenous Australians in the process.
The discovered channels are an extension of the Budj Bim Landscape, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List last year. These channels were set up by the Gunditjmara people for harvesting eels. They are made up of a complicated series of stone-lined channels and pools.
The owners who inspected the site after a bushfire which was sparked in December and only brought under control last week. Extra sites were spotted that were previously hidden under vegetation. These sites are believed to be part of the aquaculture system.
The bushfire which resulted in the discovery was sparked in December. It was only last week that it could be put out and brought under control. The owners of the land were the ones who inspected the site and found the extensions in the process. These extra sites were previously hidden under the flora and therefore could not be seen. They are believed to be a part of the aquaculture system.
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Owners of the system were the Gunditjmara, who used to reside in the southern parts of the present-day Victoria. Its population is estimated to be in thousands before the Europan settlement, however, it has declined significantly after the 1800s.
The landscape holds enormous importance since it features evidence of stone dwellings. Some parts of it have been dated back to 6,600 years, which means that they are older than Egypt's pyramids.
The area had faced various fires in the thousands of years prior, however, the major concern was what would happen after the fire. Thankfully, Victoria was salvaged by the long-sought summer rains.
According to UNESCO, Gunditjmara people would use the system to redirect waterways and maximize aquaculture yield. It is built from cooled lava flows and is one of the world’s most extensive and oldest.
In light of the discovery, a new survey is awaiting to take place. Archeologists will be working with indigenous rangers and using aerial photography with specialized software. As of now, new findings about the area are expected.