humble comment

The wanton destruction of universal historic sites

The pyramids in Egypt are over 4000 years old, the oldest being the Saggara pyramid dated at 2630 BC. Stonehenge in England was built in 3000 BC. 

The rock shelter at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia, one of the earliest sites of human occupation, has been identified by archaeologists as being  46,000 years old. This historic site was bombed on 24 May 2020 by Rio Tinto to expand an iron ore mine.

The destruction of this ancient site only became know when the Traditional Owners of the site expressed a desire to use it for the NAIDOC week celebrations. There are a number of ancient sites of human activity in Australia, but few as old as the Juukan Gorge

The actual explosion took place over a week after the local traditional owners expressed a desire to access the cave. They had been told the cave had been prepared with explosives for its destruction. It was too dangerous to enter.

It appears there had been an agreement between Rio Tinto and the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people that Rio Tinto did not have access to the caves.

To ensure that no such misunderstanding arises again, the members of the PKKP should have representation on the board of mining companies like Rio Tinto.

It in important for all humans to be able to follow the history of human development on the planet. The original owners of that land represent all humans. 


  3 comments for “The wanton destruction of universal historic sites

  1. Sara Stanley
    16/06/2020 at 10:12 am

    How would the Chinese feel if the Soldiers and Horses were being bombed?

  2. Sara Stanley
    16/06/2020 at 1:44 pm

    Is there Is no end to the desire to wipe out Australia’s ancient sites?

    China Shenhua Energy Company Limited, the world’s largest thermal coal miner, plans to destroy another ancient site. This one in the Liverpool Plains near Gunnedah.

    An archaeological report commissioned by China Shenhua Energy said it could preserve roughly half of the more than 60 significant artefacts in the area by adding fencing or moving them to another location.

    I recall visiting the Terracotta Army near Xi’an in 1984. It was an impressive display of warriors, chariots and horses estimated to be from the late third Century. The site became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

    It would appear the early Australian sites of human occupation will not be awarded the same protection, either by our own country, or by the mining company.

  3. Olivia
    16/06/2020 at 2:58 pm

    It’s true – it’s a tragedy for all human beings that this irreplaceable site was destroyed.

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