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Reconciliation Week 2019

30 May 2019

In recognition of National Reconciliation Week, we encourage all visitors to the site to head here and review the Uluru Statement from the Heart and perhaps visit the Reconciliation Australia website here.

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Archaeology News - Babylonian clay tablet containing trigonometric table predating Pythagoras by 1,000 years

1 September 2017

A Babylonian clay tablet, Plimpton 322, housed in the collections of Columbia University, has been studied by researchers for over a century. The tablet has been dated, based on comparisons of writing styles with other Babylonian tablets, to between 1822 and 1762 BC putting it at about 3,700 years old.

Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney believe the four columns and 15 rows of cuneiform on the tablet is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, predating Greek mathematician Pythagoras by 1,000 years.

The Guardian and ABC have brief articles on their websites about the findings and Daniel Manfield and Norman Wildberger of UNSW have published there research in the Journal Historia Mathematica.

Photograph: Andrew Kelly - UNSW

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Archaeology News - Discovery of possible 6th century musical notes etched on schism plaque in Renne, France

31 August 2017

In 2011 an ancient temple was discovered under a Jacobin Convent in Rennes, France. The discovery was made by a team of archaeologists from the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) and led by Gaëtan Le Cloirec of INRAP.

The team found a number of schist plaques with various etchings including an etching of four lines of diamond shapes that likely make up a section of musical notes from a song or chant possibly dating from the 6th century.

You can listen to the ancient music specialist and soprano, Dominique Fontaine, sing the melody here on the Archaeological Institute of America's website.

Photograph: Françoise Labaune-Jean / INRAP

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Federal Court recognises exclusive Yindjibarndi Native Title claim

27 July 2017

The Federal Court has recognised an exclusive Yindjibarndi Native Title claim over an area north of Karijini National Park that includes Fortescue Metal Group's Solomon Hub mine. The decision has significant implications for royalty payments made to traditional owners and has been a source of conflict both within the Yindjibarndi community and between the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation and Fortescue Metal Group. FMG controversially supported and allegedly funded a 'splinter group', Wirlu-Murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, who separated from the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation in 2011 ostensibly to negotiate with FMG for royalty terms that were apparently favoured by FMG. 

A videolink of Justice Rares handing down his decision was broadcast via videolink to the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation offices in Roebourne and were greeted with enthusiastic shouts and cheers. FMG have announced that they intend to appeal the decision.

A report on the ruling can be found at the ABC here and a follow up piece here



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