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Australian National University (2011)

Where the crow flies backwards : man and land in the Darling Basin

Allen, Harry

Titre : Where the crow flies backwards : man and land in the Darling Basin

Auteur : Allen, Harry

Université de soutenance : Australian National University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2011

Résumé
The Darling River, the second largest in eastern Australia, flows through an area of semi-arid grassland. The presence of the river in this dry region created a highly favourable environment for Aboriginal inhabitants. Historical descriptions of these Aborigines, mostly written in the late nineteenth century, show the Darling River as the single most important human resource in the Darling Basin. These records provide some evidence that the Bagundji Aborigines of the Darling basin moved from the narrow river margin into the drier hinterland and back again. These movements coincide with discernable seasonal climatic fluctuations. The majority of archaeological sites so far discovered in the Darling Basin are clustered around the shores of lakes. Some of these lakes have not been filled with water for the past 15,000 years. Analysis of these lakeside sites, dated back as far as 26,000 B.P, reveal that the prehistoric Aborigines exploited the Darling Basin in a similar manner to that described for the historic Aborigines. Stone implements recovered from the older sites are similar to those recovered from younger sites, such as Burke’s Cave, in the same region. This is taken as indicating that the inhabitants of the Basin have shared a single cultural tradition from the late Pleistocene to the ethnographic present.

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