The original human migration to Australia is believed to have occurred around 40,000 years ago when a land bridge linked the Australian continent to Asia in the north. Genetic evidence supports the probability of migration from the north, as the genetic profile of Australian Aborigines displays some similarities to the genetic profile of the indigenous peoples of Papua New Guinea, although this may well be from much more recent contact between the two populations. The religious beliefs of Australian Aborigines revolve heavily around stories of mythological creatures, which represent features of the landscape such as mountains. Additionally, dreaming is believed to represent an important medium between the real and mythological worlds, with ‘Dreamtime’ representing the Earth’s creation. Although there are many hundreds of different Aboriginal groups, they share many similar mythological tales and a common reverence for the land. Regional landscapes can be seen to influence the myths drastically across different parts of the continent.
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