Ancient Aboriginal Aquaculture Rediscovered

Ancient Aboriginal Aquaculture Rediscovered

The Archaeology of an Australian Cultural Landscape

LAP Lambert Academic Publishing ( 2014-10-07 )

€ 56,90

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This book challenges the notion of pre-contact Australian Aboriginal groups as merely hunter-gatherers surviving in a harsh, drought-prone continent. Four years of intense archaeological and ethnographic research across a weathered lava flow in South-west Victoria has revealed that long ago a cultural transformation occurred here. By harnessing springs and moving water throughout the landscape via excavated channels (thereby managing both drought and flood); controlling movement of the catadromous Shortfin eel between the ocean and culturally-constructed wetlands on the lava flow; building villages; and finally developing the means to process and preserve thousands of captured high protein mature migrating eels, the Mt Eccles lava flow had become the hub of an extensive aquaculture industry for Gunditjmara clans complete with hundreds of permanent dwellings. These long-forgotten past landscape modifications and their purpose were rediscovered by using GIS to map archaeological features and simulate pre-drainage water movemement. Undertaking bio-molecular analysis and revisiting ethnographic records revealed this extraordinary complex which was destroyed by British occupation.

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By (author) :

Heather Builth

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Cultural history