Late Holocene Aboriginal subsistence patterns: Comparisons between temperate climate systems in South Australia and New South Wales

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    Since the European colonisation of Australia, colonists, authors and academics have been interested in the subsistence patterns of Aboriginal people. This interest led to the writing of ethnographic and anthropological accounts which either focus specifically on Aboriginal populations or, more commonly, mentioned Aboriginal groups in passing. Today, these accounts are often used as baseline data in Aboriginal field surveys, often for predictive modelling, or the determination of Aboriginal diets and subsistence patterns. Today regular archaeological work and studies, such as field surveys, excavations and consultation with Aboriginal elders, provides further data which can be used to supplement these original accounts. This has led archaeologists and Aboriginal people to obtain a far greater understanding of how Holocene populations used their territories and natural resources, in addition to creating theoretical understanding of Aboriginal territoriality, social and demographic systems. It has also illustrated the complexity of Aboriginal society, technology and trade. This paper provides three examples of Aboriginal landscape use from South Australia (from the Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna people) and NSW (the Darug people), providing examples of how recent archaeological research has permitted an insight into the greatly different local systems of late Holocene territorial, social and demographic networks. The examples will illustrate how similar environmental conditions are adapted to by the three groups, culminating in different types archaeological sites and evidence. Such evidence can then be used in the future to tailor specific landscape site prediction models and theoretical constructs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages2
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventNew Ground: Australasian Archaeology Conference - Sydney, Australia
    Duration: 21 Sept 200726 Sept 2007


    ConferenceNew Ground
    OtherA combined conference of:
    The Australian Archaeological Association
    The Australasian Institute of Maritime Archaeology
    The Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology
    The Australian Association for Consulting Archaeologists
    The Australian Association for Maritime History
    Internet address


    • Indigenous archaeology
    • Australia
    • Subsistence Systems
    • Palaeoecology
    • Holocene
    • Technology
    • Trade
    • Territoriality
    • Kaurna
    • Ngarrindjeri
    • Darug


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