The ABC reports  the traditional owners of the land around Windorah, the Mithaka people, two trees represent the resting place of relatives and ancestors.  Historically, Aboriginal people were not permitted to be buried in the same cemetery as European settlers. Some burials in the cemetery recorded over the past two centuries have been lost, but it is believed the first Mithaka person to be buried inside the cemetery was in 1977.

Uncovering history

Mithaka Aboriginal Corporation director Josh Gorringe said he was hopeful some of these longstanding questions would soon be answered.

"We basically want to mark the graves," Mr Gorringe said.

"We don't know who's in there, but we'll just mark them as unknown Aboriginal people.

Mithaka elder Lorraine McKeller said she welcomed the interest and support, and everyone would benefit from the information revealed after data was collated from a survey.

"I think it'd be lovely if we could find everybody, find out who was actually here, although that might take a bit of research," she said.

Harnessing technology to search under the surface

For a long time there has been no way of finding unmarked graves short of digging them up, but University of Southern Queensland archaeologist Kelsey Lowe uses ground penetrating radar technology to identify inconsistencies below the surface.

Ground penetrating radar technology sends radar pulses into the ground and maps any changes seen under the surface, from changes in soil properties to voids and different rocks.

"I use ropes and a grid to align myself to go up and down in a zig zag pattern and map below the surface using just the one instrument," Ms Lowe said.

he technology is becoming increasingly popular in Australia due to the growing accessibility and the non-invasive nature of the instruments.

Ms Lowe said the use of the radars in Australia was also assisting with communities looking to make cultural heritage decisions.


The full story (ABC)