Oldest Australian human returned to 42,000-year-old grave

The oldest human remains found in Australia have been returned to the Outback desert that he roamed some 42,000 years ago in a ceremony celebrated by traditional owners.

The ice age Aborigine was dubbed Mungo Man after the dry salt Lake Mungo where he was found in 1974 in remote New South Wales state 750 kilometers (470 miles) west of Sydney.

Local Aborigines burnt eucalypt leaves in a traditional smoking ceremony on Friday to welcome the black hearse that carried his remains in a coffin.

Since he was found, he was studied in the national capital Canberra at the Australian National University, which handed him back to traditional owners two years ago and formally apologized for the pain caused by his removal.