The Willandra Lakes Region is a World Heritage Site in the Far West region of New South Wales, Australia. The Willandra Lakes Region is the traditional meeting place of the Muthi Muthi, Nyiampaar and Barkinji Aboriginal tribes. The 240,000-hectare (590,000-acre) area was inscribed on the World Heritage List at the 5th Session of the World Heritage Committee in 1981.
The Region contains important natural and cultural features including exceptional examples of past human civilization including the world's oldest cremation site. A small section of the region is protected by the Mungo National Park.
The lakes were formed about two million years ago, but are now dry. The Australian Aborigines camped around the lakes, especially in the sand dunes on the lake shores for at least 50,000 years. These dunes are crescent shaped, and are called lunettes. The world's oldest cremation, of an woman more than 40,000 years ago, was found in a lunette at Lake Mungo. As well as Lake Mungo, there is also Lake Mulurulu which was the last lake to hold water, the Prungle lakes which have been dry for more than 20,000 years, and Lake Chibnalwood which has a 30 metre high lunette, one of the biggest in the world.
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