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Indigenous Australian stories reveal sea level rise from 7000 years ago

A unique storytelling method among indigenous groups in Australia may have helped preserve faithful accounts of dramatic sea level rise that occurred between 18,000 and 7000 years ago, The Guardian reports. In the study, published in Australian Geographer, the scientists describe 21 indigenous stories that either provide factual or allegorical accounts of the postglacial event when the sea rose 120 meters, swallowing the edges of the continent. Scientists had thought that the accuracy of such stories couldn’t persist for much more than 800 years; their truths altered and lost, like in a game of telephone, over longer spans of time. But a distinctive “cross-generational cross-checking process,” however, could explain how the stories have maintained their consistency over the ages, the scientists say.

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