The use of the term “literature” here is a little problematic because of its origins in the Latin littera, “letter,” essentially writing. Alternatives such as “oral forms” and “oral genres” have been suggested but the word literature is widely used.
Australian Aboriginal culture has thrived on oral traditions and oral histories passed down through tens of thousands of years. In a study published in February 2020, new evidence showed that both Budj Bim and Tower Hill volcanoes erupted between 34,000 and 40,000 years ago. Significantly, this is a “minimum age constraint for human presence in Victoria”, and also could be interpreted as evidence for the oral histories of the Gunditjmara people, an Aboriginal Australian people of south-western Victoria, which tell of volcanic eruptions being some of the oldest oral traditions in existence. An axe found underneath volcanic ash in 1947 had already proven that humans inhabited the region before the eruption of Tower Hill.