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Beaches Museums
Kempsey is a town in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia and is the council seat for Kempsey Shire. It is located 15 kilometres inland from the coast of the Pacific Ocean where the Pacific Highway and the North Coast railway line cross the Macleay River. It is roughly 345 kilometres north of Sydney.Kempsey historyDunghutti peopleThe Dunghutti were the indigenous inhabitants of the Macleay Valley and were hunters and gatherers. They shared a common language and organised themselves into smaller groups regularly living together.Sea levels fell and then began to rise about 18,000 years ago, stabilising at their present position roughly 6,000 years ago. At this time the present day Macleay Valley floodplain was an estuary fringed by sandy beaches and Pleistocene cliffs. It has since been filled by alluvial deposition.Kempsey Shire has a high proportion of Aboriginals residing within its boundaries.In the Clybucca area there are ancient camp sites with shell beds in the form of mounds which are up to two metres high. These are places where kitchen waste was placed in orderly fashion. The accumulation of these middens was started some 11,000 years ago and abandoned when the sea began to recede. Food was plentiful especially in the lower Macleay. Climate accounted for movement. The people in the colder climates of the upper Macleay could easily move into warmer places on the floor of the valley during winter. There are significant sites remaining in the Dunghutti land away from ground which has been cultivated. Stone implements have been found which give evidence of antiquity. Spears, boomerangs, shields, digging sticks, water and food carriers have been collected. In the colder areas cloaks were made from possum skins. Sacred sites were marked with carved trees and stone arrangements.
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