Ruins of Ancient City Discovered in Australian Desert

The remains of an ancient city were discovered in the Australian desert.

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Claim:   The remains of an ancient city were discovered in the Australian desert.


FALSE


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, September 2014]


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RUINS OF ANCIENT CITY DISCOVERED IN AUSTRALIAN DESERT


 

Origins:   On 7 September 2014, the World News Daily Report web site published an article positing that the remains of a hitherto unknown ancient city had been discovered in the Australian desert:



A team of archaeologists working for the Australian National University, who were proceeding to an excavation near the sandstone rock formation of Uluru, has unearthed the ruins of a large precolonial city dating back to more than 1500 years ago. The important number of tombs and artifacts already discovered on the site suggests that it could have been the capital of an ancient empire, completely unknown to historians until now.

Professor Walter Reese, in charge of the site, claims that the extent of the site and the superposition of various layers of constructions, suggests that it was occupied for 400 to 500 years, from approximately 470-80 AD, up until the 9th Century. He believes that the city could have held between 20000 and 30000 inhabitants, making it the most important center of civilization in the Southern Pacific at the time.


Soon afterwards links and excerpts referencing this item were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered it mistaking it for a genuine news article. However, that article was just another spoof from World News Daily Report, a fake news web site whose stock in trade is publishing fantastically fictional stories. The site’s disclaimer page states that:



World News Daily Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within worldnewsdailyreport.com are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction.

Last updated:   13 September 2014