There's renewed speculation that the bones of the so-called "Mungo Man" may finally be returned to the care of traditional owners.
19 Feb 2014 - 5:12 PM  UPDATED 19 Feb 2014 - 6:59 PM

The 1974 discovery of 43,000-year-old Aboriginal remains in north-west New South Wales revealed Aborigines belonged to the oldest surviving culture in the world.

Dubbed 'Mungo Man', the skeletal remains were taken away from a traditional ochre burial pit to be placed at the Australian National University for further study. 

Almost 40 years later, Mungo Man could soon be returning home to Lake Mungo National Park once Aboriginal elders make a formal request to be given the remains on the discovery's 40th anniversary on February 26.

Professor James Bowler from the University of Melbourne says Mungo Man has a special significance in Australian history.

“This is a life changing experience - when Mungo Man speaks to the people of Australia, the black and the white, he has messages across the cultural divide," said Professor Bowler.

"He’s built bridges between people, science and traditional culture, between past and present and between black and white, and he has messages to deliver about how we Europeans have devastated his land, and have devastated his people. He’s asking us what have you white people done to my land and to my people."