Ediacara Hills
Ediacara Hills are a range of low hills in the northern part of the Flinders Ranges
Flinders Ranges
Flinders Ranges is the largest mountain range in South Australia, which starts approximately north west of Adelaide. The discontinuous ranges stretch for over from Port Pirie to Lake Callabonna...

 of South Australia
South Australia
South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent; with a total land area of , it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories.South Australia shares borders with all of the mainland...

, around 650 km north of Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

. The area has many old copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 and silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 from mining activity in the late 19th century. The hills also contain fossil
Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of animals , plants, and other organisms from the remote past...

s of early multicellular life forms, the Ediacaran biota
Ediacara biota
The Ediacara biota consisted of enigmatic tubular and frond-shaped, mostly sessile organisms which lived during the Ediacaran Period . Trace fossils of these organisms have been found worldwide, and represent the earliest known complex multicellular organisms.Simple multicellular organisms such as...

A Lagerstätte is a sedimentary deposit that exhibits extraordinary fossil richness or completeness.Palaeontologists distinguish two kinds....

), and have given their name to the Ediacaran
The Ediacaran Period , named after the Ediacara Hills of South Australia, is the last geological period of the Neoproterozoic Era and of the Proterozoic Eon, immediately preceding the Cambrian Period, the first period of the Paleozoic Era and of the Phanerozoic Eon...

 geological period.

The name "Ediacara" has a disputed origin from one of the Aboriginal languages near the Flinders Range area. The earlier sources suggested that the "name ‘Ediacara’ or ‘Idiyakra’ is derived from an Indigenous term linking it to a place near water" However, "recent linguistic research has suggested that the term may be a mispronunciation of the two words ‘Yata Takarra’ meaning hard or stony ground in reference to the flat Ediacara plateau of dolostone that forms the centre of the Ediacara syncline." Supporting this latter contention, it has been argued that the word "has nothing in it that corresponds to any word for water in any of the local languages" and that local tradition "has it that the name meant "granite plain", but, since there appears to be no igneous rock in the area, this could well refer to the hardness of the ground, rather than to its geological composition."

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