Forensic study uncovers site of Aboriginal massacre

A team of archaeologists and forensic scientists from Flinders University have traveled to north WA in order to prove the 1922 Sturt Massacre. The scientists examine bone fragments in order to corroborate stories told by local Aboriginal elders, which have been the subject of political debate for decades.

More than a dozen people were said to have died at the hands of policemen, sent to the area to investigate two murders. Local testimony stated that the police shot at a group of Aboriginal people. Once the ammunition ran out, police were said to round up and chain a group of men, woman and children, who were then shot and burned. One researcher said "what's beyond doubt is that they were burned at extremely high heat for many, many hours, in the kind of fires that don't happen naturally... Certainly there's evidence that these are human remains, and that the bone fragments have been subjected to incredibly high temperatures, for an astonishing period of time."

These events were later documented in paintings by survivors and descendants. Steven Yoomarie said of the findings "It is very important to us, our people died in that land, and we know what they did to our old people... When I found out they were completely burned at high temperature, I felt sad … [we need to] let everybody know what happened at Sturt Creek, not only did it happen in other countries, it happened at Sturt Creek."