Bathroom break leads man to amazing discovery
Australian scientists pushed back the date of human settlement in one part of the continent because one man stumbled upon an archaeological site while looking for a place to pee.
According to a study in the journal Nature, findings come from the Warratyi rock shelter. Evidence shows humans managed to live in the arid region 10,000 years earlier than scientists originally thought.
"The very fact that [the material] dates back to 49 [thousand years ago] was just [an] incredible shock," Giles Hamm, lead author of the study, told the ABC.
Researchers also found bone from an extinct animal and ancient bone tools.
"...[O]ur evidence shows that people not only settled in the arid interior within a few millennia of entering the continent," the researchers said in the study.
"But also developed key technologies much earlier than previously recorded for Australia and Southeast Asia."
Hamm told ABC that Clifford Coulthard, one of the co-authors of the story, found the site while looking for a place to relieve himself.
"Nature called and Cliff walked up this creek bed into this gorge and found this amazing spring surrounded by rock art," Hamm told ABC.
"A man getting out of the car to go to the toilet led to the discovery of one of the most important sites in Australian pre-history."