Koonalda Cave

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Koonalda Cave is cave and an important archeological site[1] in Nullarbor Plain, in South Australia.[2]

Thousands of square metres in the cave are covered in parallel finger-marked geometric lines and patterns, Indigenous Australian artwork which has been dated as 20,000 years old,[1][3] making it older than any known prehistoric art in Europe.[4] It is located about 60 miles (97 km) north east from Eucla[5] within the Nullarbor National Park.

The cave was abandoned 19,000 years ago, and rediscovered by archeologists in 1956.[3]

The cave was explored by an expedition lead by Captain J. M. Thompson in 1935. The team entered the cave by a ladder and found themselves in a chamber some 800 feet (244 m) in circumference and walked down tunnels over 1,200 feet (366 m) in length.[5]

Later excavated by Alexander Gallus in the 1960s, he found that Aboriginal peoples had used the area as a flint mine.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Koonalda Cave", Encyclopaedia Britannica
  2. ^ "Koonalda Cave" Australia Thru Time. Retrieved 2014-3-17.
  3. ^ a b "Koonalda", Minnesota State University
  4. ^ BLAINEY, Geoffrey, Triumph of the Nomads: A History of Aboriginal Australia, 1976, ISBN 0-87951-084-6, p.84
  5. ^ a b "Caves and Lakes.". The Sydney Morning Herald (New South Wales: National Library of Australia). 20 November 1935. p. 12. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Secrets of Koonalda Caves". South Australian Museum. 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 

Coordinates: 31°24′S 129°53′E / 31.400°S 129.883°E / -31.400; 129.883