• Driver Daryl and the Paakantji elders are ready to take their ancestors home. (Nakari Thorpe/NITV News)Source: Nakari Thorpe/NITV News
Australia's oldest known human remains are on their way back home to be buried on country. It comes after more than 40 years since the remains were discovered at Lake Mungo.
17 Nov 2017 - 10:22 AM  UPDATED 19 Nov 2017 - 1:17 PM

Today, Mungo Man completes his journey back home to where he was first discovered and will be laid to rest. 

For Mutti Mutti Elder Mary Pappin the day couldn't come soon enough. 

"It's been a long road for our people, a lot of our old people have passed on now that started this same fight that we've had. They've left us this legacy," she said. 

At a ceremony held by traditional owners today the remains will finally be placed back where they came from.

For the past four decades, he's been in the care of the Australian National University which handed him back two years ago and formally apologised to the traditional owners for the pain caused by Mungo Man being removed.

Researcher Jim Bowler first discovered remains on the shore of the ancient and long-dry Lake Mungo, 750 kilometres west of Sydney, in 1968.

He and an Australian National University team initially unearthed the remains of Mungo Lady, who'd been cremated then buried more than 40,000 years ago.

Then, in 1974, Dr Bowler discovered further ochre-adorned remains from a similar period. They become known as Mungo Man.

In 1992, after decades of campaigning by local communities, the Lady's remains were returned to Lake Mungo.

But it's taken another 25 years for a hearse carrying Mungo Man, along with the remains of 100 other ice-age people removed from the land, to make the long journey from the capital back to the lake.