Mungo Man

The discoveries at Lake Mungo are potentially the most important discoveries made in Australia, if not the world. The skeletal remains uncovered a world that we know very little about. They gave us an insight to the burial practices of the earliest people for both males and females of the time. The skeletal remains were subject to numerous forms of dating, but primarily radiocarbon dating or C-14 dating. Mungo I also known as Mungo woman or LM1 was the first skeleton to be discovered at the site.

In 1968 geologist Jim Bowler was conducting research on the Willandra Lakes region, more specifically Lake Mungo. His original intention for the site was to study the Pleistocene layers of the area, looking at the ancient geography of the land. However in one of the lunettes (extended, crescent shaped sand ridges) he happened to notice a bone fragment protruding from an exposed calcrete block. Upon closer inspection he realised that it was not animal but human. Bowler marked the site with a peg for further excavation by archaeologists. Similarly in 1974 Jim also discovered Mungo III/LM3, this time dubbed Mungo Man.

His skeleton was discovered after a prolonged period of rain in 1973. The rain has eroded the outer layers of the dirt to reveal a carbonated human skull. These remains were discovered just some 500m from the site of Mungo I. Again marked and excavated later on by archaeologist. Mungo I was the remains of a woman. She was described as a gracile woman, with fine bones and features. She was not found as a whole intact skeleton, rather 175 bone fragments. It was concluded that she was cremated; the charring of the bone fragments supported this theory.

From this primary evidence we can hypothesise that the people of the time believed in the ritual passing of an individual, that the deceased should have a physical recognition of the change between the worldly life and the afterlife. We can also guess that from this they had some sort of belief system. Mungo III is an example of how the people of his time treated the males in the society. Instead of the cremation seen in Mungo Woman, this male, again gracile in appearance was instead buried in the ground. Again there is evidence of a ritual burial in the way he was laid.

His hands were clasped together and red ochre sprinkled over the body. This arrangement of the body again demonstrates a belief in passing to another world by making the body presentable to this other world. There were numerous ways that the remains have been dated. By using the dated layers that the bones were found in and C-14 dating we are able to get a fairly accurate estimate of when these people were buried. Other ways included electron spin resonance dating, uranium-thorium dating, optically stimulated luminescence dating and thermoluminescence dating.

Paleoanthropologists, or people who specialise in studying ancient humans by looking at human fossil primary evidence carried all of these dating methods out. When first discovered in 1968 and 1974 Jim Bowler was able to use his own scientific field of geomorphology. By using the already dated layers that the bones were found in he was able to produce and estimate time of burial. He estimated the bones of LM1 to be around 40,000 years ago and LM3 to around 32,000 years ago.

He was able compare the strata of the area and the two skeletons to come up with these estimations. Archaeologists soon came in in the years following each discovery to uncover the remains. After Archaeologists had removed the bones they were handed over to paleoanthropologists and aboriginal peoples for proper testing. The first and most commonly known dating method that they used on the skeletons was radiocarbon or C-14 dating. The second way that archaeologists were able to date the Lake Mungo remains was by electron spin resonance dating.

Also known as ESR dating, this method of dating the archaeologist/scientist looks to the radiation damage of bones (mostly teeth) by looking at the amount of radiation an object has been subject to whilst under ground. ESR dating works best on animal teeth so even though the results are still plausible it provided a much larger date area. The results reached showed the conclusion that the bones were around 31, 000 years old for Mungo Man give or take 7, 000 years. This of course would bring the reliability of this method down.

Another dating technique they used on the skeletal remains was uranium-thorium dating. Instead of looking at how much of a particular substance is missing uranium-thorium dating records the accumulation of equilibrium between the isotope thorium-230 and its radioactive parent uranium-234. It is useful for determining the age of objects containing calcium carbonate, like bone. This was combined with optically stimulated luminescence dating, where you uncover when the material was last exposed to light to bring an estimate of 62,000 years ago for Mungo III ± 6,000 years.

This caused controversy and confusion though as the surrounding earth was dated only to 43,000 years. This questions the reliability of these results as not all the facts interlink with each other. While individually these dating methods are quite reliable combined they produce relatively farfetched results. Thermoluminescence dating works in a similar way to optically stimulated luminescence dating in that it measures when it was last exposed to light but also when it was last exposed to heat. By using this technique the bones were dated to no more than 24,600 ±2,400 years but no less than 43,300 ±3,800 years ago.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyHomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Looks great and appreciate the help.
Customer 452675, April 26th, 2021
Don't really see any of sources I provided, but elsewise its great, thank you!
Customer 452697, May 8th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
great job as always
Customer 452773, February 26th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
looks good thank you
Customer 452773, March 3rd, 2023
Thank you!!! I received my order in record timing.
Customer 452551, February 9th, 2021
Criminal Justice
This has been the greatest help while I am recovering from an illness. Thank your team so much.
Customer 452671, May 2nd, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Customer 452773, February 23rd, 2023
Criminal Justice
The paper was not accused of plagiarism and was written very well. I will let you know the grade once it is graded. Thank you
Customer 452671, April 26th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent work
Customer 452773, March 12th, 2023
Customer 452591, March 18th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Thank you
Customer 452773, March 19th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Excellent job
Customer 452773, March 17th, 2023
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes