National Geographic : 1997 May
PAULS.C . TACON,AUSTRALIANMUSEUM(BOTH) 2 million years ago Present, inmium 176,000 to 58,00 Mysterious cuplike designs engraved on the stones of northern Australia are among the world's oldest art. Tracings made at Jinmium (above) include asection where akangaroo-like figure was pecked over some of the old circles (below, in black). "This art shows that people were putting their cultural stamp on the landscape," explains rock-art expert Paul Tacon. Though these people clearly had developed beyond Homo erectus, not much is known about them. Arriving in one of many waves of migrants from Asia, they may be the ancestors of either of two distinct populations whose remains-robust and gracile (below left)-have turned up farther south.