Silent Land

These shots were taken in the Mungo Lakes National Park of western New South Wales. This is the site of the Mungo Woman and Mungo Man discoveries, proving first peoples occupation of Australia for well over 40,000 years. It is also the site of the earliest known ceremonial burial in human history. For over 20,000 years there was a thriving community around the lush shores of Lake Mungo, but the climate changed about 17,000 years ago with the melting of the last ice age and the lakes dried up. The occupants did not disappear, but adapted to the changing climate. It is an area of great significance to the local first peoples - the Paakantji, Ngyiampaa and the Mutthi Mutthi peoples of the Willandra Lakes - who claim continuous occupation for over 40,000 years and every time I visit I am deeply moved by this simple yet powerful fact.