The Archaeology of Ancient Australia demonstrates with an array of illustrations and clear descriptions of key archaeological evidence from Australia a thorough evaluation of Australian prehistory. Readers are shown how this human past can be reconstructed from archaeological evidence, supplemented by information from genetics, environmental sciences, anthropology, and history. The result is a challenging view about how varied human life in the ancient past has been.
First Footprints tells the epic story of Australia's Aboriginal people. It is a story of ancient life on the driest continent on earth through the greatest environmental changes experienced in human history: ice ages, extreme drought and inundating seas. It is chronicled through astonishing archaeological discoveries, ancient oral histories and the largest and oldest art galleries on earth. Australia's first inhabitants were the first people to believe in an afterlife, cremate their dead, engrave representations of the human face, and depict human sound and emotion. They created new technologies, designed ornamentation, engaged in trade, and crafted the earliest documents of war. Ultimately, they developed a sustainable society based on shared religious tradition and far-reaching social networks across the length and breadth of Australia.
First Footprints tells the largely unknown and captivating story of Australia's remarkable heritage.
The Archaeology of Aboriginal Australia seeks to convey a sense of the excitement and significance of the research undertaken during the 'decades of discovery'. The material presented here--specially commissioned essays and key published articles by new and established scholars--focuses on the themes and issues which continue to attract the most attention among archaeologists:
* the antiquity of the human settlement of Australia
* patterns of colonisation
* the significance of change in Aboriginal society in the late prehistoric period
* the usefulness of reconstructions of past ecological systems in understanding the
histories of Aboriginal societies
* the value of rock art and stone tool technology in understanding the human history
* the archaeology of Aboriginal-European contact
An overview chapter discusses changes in the practice of Australian archaeology (and the political context in which it is undertaken) during the last two decades. The Archaeology of Aboriginal Australia also conveys the fact that there is by no means a 'party line' among practitioners about how to understand more than 40,000 years of human action.