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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 2012 → "Any kangaroo ?" On the ecology, ethnography and archaeology of foraging in Australia’s arid west

Stanford University (2012)

"Any kangaroo ?" On the ecology, ethnography and archaeology of foraging in Australia’s arid west

Codding, Brian F.

Titre : "Any kangaroo ?" On the ecology, ethnography and archaeology of foraging in Australia’s arid west

Auteur : Codding, Brian F.

Université de soutenance : Stanford University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2012

Résumé
But not all foraging activities are the same. Trade-offs between different activities are embodied by sand monitor and hill kangaroo hunting : the former is associated with a smaller harvest, but a low risk of failure while the latter is typically associated with a larger harvest, but a high risk of failure. However, kangaroo hunting becomes a reliable activity when their densities are high enough that hunters can reliably encounter many kangaroo per hunt. In Martu Country, this depends on a number of anthropogenic factors, particularly the fine-grained mosaics of diverse vegetation that result from Martu burning practices and the impacts from over-hunting ; suggesting that hill kangaroo populations benefit from an intermediate level of Martu foraging. This dissertation examines the ecology, ethnography and archaeology of foraging in Australia’s arid west. Framed by behavioral ecology, this inquiry examines the interactions between what are generally referred to as the ecological, biological, social and cultural aspects of humanity in order to provide an integrative view of past and present life-ways and livelihoods in arid Australia. The thesis begins with an examination of life in a desert community today, then focuses in on contemporary foraging patterns and human-environment interactions, including the anthropogenic factors that structure prey populations. Analysis then turns to an investigation of foraging behaviors linked with their material outcomes. These findings are then used to bolster interpretations of patterns in prehistoric foraging across Australia’s arid west. Results show that foraging provides a stable income in desert communities today, with foraged foods used to support dependents. This is also likely true for threatened mammal populations in the desert. Ethnoarchaeological investigations reveal that these dynamic interactions between desert foragers and their environment carry into the material record, allowing a glimmer of these interactions to be viewed in the past. An analysis of prehistoric faunal assemblages from throughout the arid west shows a decline in the relative abundance of kangaroo in the Late Holocene, suggesting a dramatic shift in kangaroo hunting success rates and the resulting division of labor. Combined, these findings suggest, that the arid west encountered today, emerged through thousands of years of foraging.

Présentation

Page publiée le 16 avril 2013, mise à jour le 28 août 2017