Local Indigenous Australians, hospital staff, archaeologists, and builders came together this week for a ceremony to commemorate Indigenous history, ahead of the conclusion of a major archaeological excavation.
Around 55 people attended the Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony on Tuesday, November 24, which took place at the Griffith Base Hospital site where hundreds of Indigenous artefacts were discovered earlier this year.
This week marks the end of digging at the site, which has uncovered more than 400 ancient Indigenous artefacts.
Uncle James Williams Senior conducted the ceremony, burning gum and emu leaves he had collected on Scenic Hill, and inviting Elders and guests to walk through the smoke.
As they did this he asked them to think positive thoughts, and to remember the ancestors who walked across this same land centuries ago.
Uncle James then spoke to the attendees about the cultural significance of the artefacts, while Archaeologist Dr Jillian Comber spoke of their scientific significance.
Dr Comber described the ceremony as "fantastic," and said more will be done to acknowledge the site's importance to Indigenous culture.
"The whole Aboriginal history of the site will be interpreted," she said. "There will be plaques, artworks, and some of the artefacts may be put on display."
"The artefacts are so important culturally, because they give Aboriginal people that connection to the past, to their ancestors, to their land, and to their country."
The uncovered artefacts include hundreds of stone tools, which may have been used for cutting up food and wood, or even for making shields and canoes.
Some of the tools are estimated to have been used over a thousand years ago.
The findings suggest the site may have been used as a campsite for ancient Indigenous Australians.
While digging has concluded at the site, archaeologists and members of the Griffith Local Aboriginal Land Council will continue sifting for more artefacts next week.
The artefacts were originally found during re-developments at Griffith Base Hospital in May.