What are the Mysteries of Lake Mungo?

PLEASE NOTE: This case study contains names, images and/or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Case Study Overview

There are many mysteries associated with the famous Lake Mungo archaeological site in southern NSW that will help students to explore important issues about ancient Australian history. Some of these are: How old are the Lake Mungo people and how do we know? Why were Mungo Lady and Mungo Man buried in these ways? What was life at Lake Mungo like? What should be done with the Lake Mungo human remains? And many more. This new case study help students to understand what Lake Mungo was, and how it became what it is today.

An interactive entitled, Can you protect Lake Mungo, is also available for this case study.

The case study includes activities in both PDF and interactive web formats. NEW Interactive website now included.

Case Study unit of work inquiry structure

  • Teacher’s Guide
  • Focus Question 1: What do archaeologists do?
    Understanding some simple steps in the archaeological process
  • Focus Question 2: What do we know about Lake Mungo – Place, Time, Environment and people?
    Exploring where Lake Mungo is and what the environment is like
  • Focus Question 3: Why were Mungo Lady and Mungo man buried in these ways?
    Exploring possible reasons why the remains were buried in particular ways
  • Focus Question 4: How old are the Lake Mungo people? How do we know?
    Investigating various dating methods and their reliability in relation to Lake Mungo remains 
  • Focus Question 5: How were lunettes formed?
    Understanding why the human remains were found where they were
  • Focus Question 6: What happened to the megafauna at Lake Mungo?
    Explores the debate over the extinction of the megafauna
  • Focus Question 7: What was life like at Lake Mungo?
    Explores the nature of life for the people of Lake Mungo
  • Focus Question 8: What should be done with the Lake Mungo human remains?
    Examines the points of view held about this question
  • Focus Question 9: How has the environment changed over time at Lake Mungo?
    Examines the sequence of environmental changes at Lake Mungo
  • Focus Question 10: How has Lake Mungo been represented in art?
    Explores the nature and purpose of different artworks
  • Focus Question 11: What would the Lake Mungo people tell us?
    An imaginative student exercise

About the Interactive

Can you protect Lake Mungo
Your task is to decide on how to protect Lake Mungo National Park in 10 different scenarios.

For Secondary Students

• Who lived here first and how do we know?
• Investigating the ancient past

Case Study Resources

  • Teacher Guide
  • Print Resources (PDF)
  • Interactive game (iPad Compatible)
  • Interactive website
  • Downloadable High Quality Video
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