“Artefacts at the landmark, known by the European name of Point Ritchie and by Aborigines as Moyjil, have already been identified in some research as at least 35,000 years old and there are indications it could point to civilisation 80,000 years ago.” The Standard Newspaper, Warrnambool, Victoria – The Standard newspaper
Point Richie, or Moyjil, is at the mouth of the Hopkins River, Warrnambool, Victoria. To get there I must drive through suburban streets to a pretty coastal park. The modern ‘improvements’ of a toilet block, paved carpark and fenced walkways give the place a touristic feel.
Recent scientific research has unmasked the site’s true significance. In the carpark a new billboard has been erected describing the way the local Aboriginal tribe, the Gundijtmara people, used the area before white settlement.
Looking back up river I glimpse the large homes sitting on the prime real estate on the further shore. Modern life encroaches on this ancient site but has not destroyed it. Down on the sand the essential ruggedness and timelessness of the place re-asserts itself.
At the point where the river meets the sea the salt laden winds sweeping in from the Southern Ocean have carved the sandstone into weird shapes.
Jagged cliffs rear up above them –
and rocky sentinels guard the area –
Away from the ocean the riverside is more sheltered. Here the cliffs are worn smooth with time and there is more vegetation.
Shells, rocks and charcoal found in the area indicate it the oldest site of human habitation in Victoria – perhaps as long as 80,000 years. It is a concept that re-writes all previous ideas about how long aboriginal people have lived in Australia. The geology of the area also indicate times of a very high sea level 125,000 years ago and a very low level 30,000 years ago. Scientists from Adelaide University are still investigating the geological markings on the rocks. Perhaps when they publish their findings we may gain further scientific understanding as to how sea levels are affected by climate change.
Prompts: 3 quotes in 3 days challenge – I got tagged by Indira for this challenge and decided to give it a go. I have no idea if I’ve followed the rules – I may have been supposed to tag others for the challenge but I’m not sure how to go about doing that. I guess I could offer an open invitation to anyone who wants to do it as my 3 days are now finished. Indira might know more about the rules.
‘One of the aims of haiku is to confuse the reader just enough to attract interest. Using a paradox will engage interest and give the reader something to ponder after the last word. Again, one cannot use nonsense but has to construct a true, connected-to-reality paradox. It is not easy to come up with new ones or good ones, but when it happens, one should not be afraid of using it in a haiku.’