One of the researchers behind a study that may show human life arrived on this continent much earlier than previously thought, says the findings will change the way archaeologists carry out their research in the future.

A study of small black stones and scattered shell middens at the mouth of the Hopkins River at Warrnambool in Victoria have given researchers reason to believe there were human inhabitants in the region as early as 120,000 years ago.

A study in recent years found that humans arrived on this continent at least 65,000 years ago.

While the new study may trump earlier arrival figures, researchers are yet to find tools or equipment to confirm the theory.

Professorial Fellow at Melbourne University Jim Bowler, who is known for finding Mungo Man, says while the new study isn’t fully confirmatory it will change the archaeological atmosphere.