20,000-Year-Old Mungo Footprints Commemorated on Coins From Royal Australian Mint

By Royal Australian Mint ……
 

The Mungo footprints, in the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area, are the oldest preserved footprints ever found in Australia and the largest set of ice age footprints in the world. The Royal Australian Mint celebrates these precious glimpses into our past with this striking design available as both a 2021 $1 Fine Silver Proof Coin and a 2021 20c Uncirculated Coin.

Twenty thousand years ago, a family group walked across the soft claypan of an ancient drying lake bed. A few days later a number of hunters ran across the area chasing game. Finally, and most remarkably, an individual ‘hopped’ across the claypan leaving a single line of right footprints. These three journeys or stories have been captured forever in the petrified clay of the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area, and are known as the Mungo footprints.

The footprints were discovered in 2003 when the shifting sand dunes revealed the petrified indentations to archaeologists undertaking a survey of the area. Further digging and research revealed one of the most intriguing and intact insights into how people lived, traveled, hunted, and survived in the Pleistocene era during the last ice age. In 2006, the tracks were covered again by sand to protect them from the elements. Only a handful of people know the exact location of these wondrous footprints in time.

The coin design is dominated by an incused representation of a preserved Mungo footprint, surrounded by the cracks and fissures of the petrified lakebed. A map of Australia is formed by some of the cracks. The word ‘Millennia’ has been added to identify the 20,000 years that have passed since the footprints were made. The title ‘Willandra Lakes Trackway’ is included to give the site its official title.

Coin Specifications

Clad 20 Cents

Country:  Australia
Year Of Issue:  2021
Denomination:  20 Cents (AUD)
Mint Mark:  None
Mintage:  20,000
Metal:  Copper-Nickel (CuNi)
Weight:  11.30 g
Diameter:  28.52 mm
Edge:  Smooth
OBV Designer  Jody Clark
REV Designer  Aaron Baggio
Quality:  Uncirculated

Silver $1

Country:  Australia
Year Of Issue:  2021
Denomination:  1 Dollar (AUD)
Mint Mark:  None
Mintage:  5,000
Metal:  Silver
Weight:  15.55 g
Diameter:  28.52 mm
Edge:  Smooth
OBV Designer  Jody Clark
REV Designer  Aaron Baggio
Quality:  Proof

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About the Royal Australian Mint

The Royal Australian Mint is an award-winning, world-class Mint and a global leader in the mint industry. The Mint produces circulating coins for Australia and other countries; collectable and investment coins for domestic and international customers; and custom-made medals, medallions and tokens for individual or corporate clients.

The Mint is also a national cultural attraction that educates millions of Australians and international visitors on the history of Australia’s decimal currency, and the significance and value of coins.
 

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