The discovery of significant submerged Aboriginal heritage sites during a land and sea survey of the Pilbara coastline has raised concerns that there are major blind spots in Australia’s environmental policies that place these sites and others at risk.

More than 2 million square kilometres of Australia’s continental landmass — an area larger than Queensland and once home to thousands of generations of First Nations Australians was drowned by sea-level rise over the last 20,000 years.

Technologically speaking forty-five thousand years ago there was really no difference technologically in terms of anyone around the world. The issues are more in the longstanding broader cultural misunderstandings about the people who have been here for tens of thousands of years and whether or not those societies were complex or not.

Associate Professor in Maritime Archaeology at Flinders University Jonothan Benjamin.

Associate Professor in Maritime Archaeology at  Flinders University Jonothan Benjamin says The Deep History of Sea Country project— a  partnership between Australian, British scientists and Aboriginal people— challenges many existing views.

Speaking to CAAMA Radio, Associate Professor Benjamin says there needs to be a national policy that ensures resource companies operate with care for Aboriginal heritage.

Listen to the full interview here:

All images courtesy of The Deep History of Sea Country project.