Image: Burning a corpse
Burning a corpse - funeral pyre of a man who was killed by a falling tree. Illustration (engraving). Engraver: J Neagle. From: An Account of the English colony in New South Wales from its first settlement in January 1788 to August 1801. Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins, 1798.
- © Australian Museum Research Library
Prior to European arrival, Aboriginal mortuary practices varied considerably across Australia. In the Sydney region, British settlers noted that cremation and burial were the most common methods of disposal. New evidence from Lake Mungo in Western New South Wales shows that Indigenous Australians were cremating their dead at least 40,000 years ago.