Koonalda Cave

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Koonalda Cave
Map showing the location of Koonalda Cave
Map showing the location of Koonalda Cave
LocationNullarbor, South Australia
Coordinates31°24′25″S 129°50′10″E / 31.406866°S 129.836129°E / -31.406866; 129.836129Coordinates: 31°24′25″S 129°50′10″E / 31.406866°S 129.836129°E / -31.406866; 129.836129[1]
Discovery1935

Koonalda Cave is a cave in the Australian state of South Australia, on the Nullarbor Plain in the locality of Nullarbor. It is notable as an archeological site.[2][3]

I.D. Lewis described the cave in 1976 as:[1]

Large doline 60m in diam. and 25m deep; talus slope to two main large passages connected by a high window; total length of cave 1200m; three lakes at -80m; narrow airspace beyond third lake leads to 45m diam. dome and lake; another 30m sump leads off this...

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,[2][4] making it older than any known prehistoric art in Europe.[5] It is located about 99 kilometres (62 mi) west of the Nullarbor roadhouse[1] and about 97 kilometres (60 mi) north east from Eucla[6] within the Nullarbor Wilderness Protection Area.[7]

The cave was abandoned 19,000 years ago, and rediscovered by archeologists in 1956.[4]

The cave was explored by an expedition led by Captain J. M. Thompson in 1935. The team entered the cave by a ladder and found themselves in a chamber some 244 metres (800 ft) in circumference and walked down tunnels over 366 metres (1,200 ft) in length.[6]

In the 1960s, the cave was excavated by Alexander Gallus, who found that Aboriginal peoples had mined flint there.[8]

Koonalda Cave was listed on the South Australian Heritage Register on 4 March 1993 and inscribed onto the Australian National Heritage List on 15 October 2014.[9][10] It was also listed on the now-defunct Register of the National Estate.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Search result for 'Koonalda Cave' with the following datasets selected - 'Suburbs and localities' and 'Gazetteer'". Location SA Map viewer. Government of South Australia. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Koonalda Cave", Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ "Koonalda Cave" Australia Thru Time. Retrieved 2014-3-17.
  4. ^ a b "Koonalda" Archived 9 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Minnesota State University
  5. ^ BLAINEY, Geoffrey, Triumph of the Nomads: A History of Aboriginal Australia, 1976, ISBN 0-87951-084-6, p.84
  6. ^ a b "Caves and Lakes". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 20 November 1935. p. 12. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Protected Areas of South Australia September (Map) 2014 Edition" (PDF). Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Secrets of Koonalda Caves". South Australian Museum. 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  9. ^ "National Heritage Places – Koonalda Cave". Department of the Environment (Australia). Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Koonalda Cave, Nullarbor National Park [also on the National Heritage List ID 106022]". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 15 February 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Koonalda Cave, Old Eyre Hwy, Cook, SA, Australia (Place ID 106022)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment.