How many of the world’s haunted forests are actually inhabited?
Posted On July 8, 2021
By the time I left the country last year, I had spent a fair bit of time in the forest.
I was looking for it, and it was not as well-preserved as I had expected.
The forests I visited were not as pristine as I expected, and I wondered whether they were really inhabited.
So I began to dig.
After an intensive search, I finally stumbled across a small site that I was certain I could locate the nearest inhabited forest, on the edge of the Great Northern Desert in southern Queensland.
It is a small, but fascinating, collection of oaks and cedars and creeks that form the base of the forest, just beyond the desert.
This is where the first recorded sighting of a human being is said to have taken place.
The forest was not inhabited, however.
“I didn’t have a clue what the word ‘wilderness’ meant,” says Jason Rotheram, a forest ecologist at the University of Queensland in Townsville.
“It was the name of a very obscure place.
A little further west, on another ridge, a man was spotted in a small clearing, apparently sitting on his haunches. “
When I started looking for more information, I started to realise there were quite a lot of different places that people had never been to before, and that some of them were inhabited.”
A little further west, on another ridge, a man was spotted in a small clearing, apparently sitting on his haunches.
A few days later, another visitor came to check on him.
“They told me that the person in the picture was a shaman and had come down to visit him,” says Rotherm.
“He said, ‘I am here to heal you’.” A shaman?
The name of the place was Arundhati Roy, who was also known as the “Queen of the Dead”.
He was a Hindu god of death and resurrection, who had an enormous statue of himself in the Hindu Kush mountains of central India.
The Aruvidhati was a major figure in Hinduism and the world of Indian folklore, and is often depicted with a skull and crossbones.
It was this deity that the Australian anthropologist Richard Dawkins described as “a Hindu goddess of the dead” and described as a reincarnation of the mythical Hindu god Krishna.
Rothermel says the people of Aruvardhata were apparently not religious, and he is certain that they did not visit the Aruvedas shrine.
“If you go into the area and look at what’s there, you’ll find the Aryan burial ground,” he says.
I went to the site and asked Rotherma and Rother, who works at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Canberra, about their findings. “
We knew there were probably a lot more ancient sites here.”
I went to the site and asked Rotherma and Rother, who works at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Canberra, about their findings.
What we found was a remarkable, and fascinating, little collection of ancient oaks, cedaries, and cedar trees, all of them belonging to the genus Aruldhati, that had been planted in the 1960s and were later destroyed by fires.
“The whole thing is an amazing, extraordinary piece of archaeology,” says Tim Smith, a professor at the university’s Department of Botany.
“There is an ancient knowledge of this place and a fascinating story of a shaman coming down and having a meeting with a dead body.
It’s quite extraordinary.”
The Aryan cemetery, as the researchers call it, dates back at least as far as the Neolithic period, which is around 14,000 years ago, and contains a complex of stone mounds, burial sites and ceremonial sites.
“This is the place where the people who lived in this area died, and were buried there,” says Smith.
“These people did not leave a lot for us to see.”
What was the nature of the Arodydei burial grounds?
“The Aroda is a sacred site and there are a lot other sacred sites around the world, and Australia is no exception,” says Tanya Wright, a researcher at the Australian Museum in Canberra.
“But there are quite a few of these sites that are not really accessible to people.”
The site is so complex that a team of scientists from Australia, the US and the UK, and international archaeologists from France and Sweden, are planning to go to the area.
They are hoping to conduct a survey to find out what happened to the Arotees, or the dead, after they were buried.
“Some of the people are buried with them in a different layer, and there is a little piece of a stone with some of the stone which is where they’ve laid their body, and then a piece of stone, or some other thing is also placed around them,” says Wright.
“In some cases, there’s some evidence of an animal being placed around the body, which suggests that the people may have been buried with a large animal.”
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