Archaeologists on Friday reported finding a huge Stone Age "factory" in the Outback where aborigines crafted stone blades and cutting tools for barter some 2,000 years ago.
Scattered among weathered stone outcrops were hundreds of thousands of remains of stone tools and implements that point to a sophisticated aboriginal enterprise long before Europeans set foot on the continent.The site at Tiboobura, 530 miles northwest of Sydney, is so large that archaeologists believe its output may have formed the basis for a local export industry.
"Almost certainly, these people operated the workshop to exchange goods," said Dan Witter, archaeologist for the government's National Parks and Wildlife Service of New South Wales.
He said Tiboobura is an aboriginal word, meaning pile of rocks, a reference to granite hills in the area. The cutting tools were made from a silica-based rock.
Witter told The Associated Press the Stone Age toolmakers most likely traded for a mildly hallucinogenic drug, Pituri.