Anthropology is the study of human culture through recovering and analysing cultural material.
Archaeology is the study of human history through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains. Through these fields we are learning a great deal of the true history of Australian Aborigines and it’s place in history from a world scale.
Dreamers are historically unique, mostly because it is still a living culture with ancient roots. To comprehend the extent of this history, below is a time-frame of some relevant Archaeology.
Australia: The Land Where Time Began
This is the best site I’ve seen. It is a biography of the Australian continent to Pleistocene Australia 1.6 million years ago to the present (http://austhrutime.com/pleistocene_australia.htm). Created by author M.H. Monroe.
Go to the Aboriginal Australian site (http://austhrutime.com/aboriginal_australia.htm ) and view this information along with the list of Occupation sites in Australia – chronological (http://austhrutime.com/occupation_sites.htm).
I’ll be adding links to this site to confine the magnitude of this topic..
40 000 years ago
LAKE MUNGO: Skeleton remains found at Lake Mungo and dated at 42,000 years old represents that Aboriginal culture is the oldest culture as these remains had a ritual burial procedure that involved cremation. Understand Mungo – Mungo Archaeology [Office of Environment and Heritage] http://www.visitmungo.com.au/archaeology
- Lake Mungo remains [Wikipeadia] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Mungo_remains
- Mungo Lady and Mungo Man http://www.visitmungo.com.au/mungo-lady-mungo-man
- Mungo Man is a physical reminder of the need for Indigenous recognition by Jim Bowler 2014 [the Guardian] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/25/mungo-man-physical-reminder-need-for-indigenous-recognition
- Mungo Man: What to do next with Australia’s oldest human remains? by Lisa McGregor 2018 ABC New https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-12/mungo-man-what-to-do-next-with-australias-oldest-remains/9371038
- Mungo Man imagined: writing the ultimate historical novel Tom Keneally, Journal & Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, vol. 151, part 1, 2018, pp. 5–13. ISSN 0035-9173/18/010005-09. https://royalsoc.org.au/images/pdf/journal/151-1-Keneally.pdf
- Discoveries at Lake Mungo https://education.abc.net.au/home#!/media/522233/discoveries-at-lake-mungo
THE WARRATYI ROCK SHELTER: A cave shelter in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges South Australia holds the evidence of the oldest known Aboriginal settlement in arid Australia, and the oldest bone tools ever found. The find has pushed back the date of such occupation by 10,000 years to about 49,000 years ago.
31 000 years ago
KEILOR: A human cranium which radiocarbon dating and fluorine-phosphate analysis dated at 14,7000 years BP (before Present). Keilor is noted as one of the earliest sites of human habitation in Australia. Keilor Archaeological site | The University of Melbourne Gary Presland http://www.emelbourne.net.au/biogs/EM00792b.htm.
NAWARLA GABARNMANG ROCK SHELTER: 45,000 BP (Before Present). This shelter held the oldest known stone axe with a ground edge has been found in Arnhem land, in the country of the Jawoyn people. At 35,000 years old, it predates the earliest known stone axe elsewhere by about 5,000 years. What makes the Nawarla Gabarnmang rock shelter is the cave drawing held within. One art work shows the Megafauna species Genyornis (Giant bird) drawn in Arnhem Land cave painting which became extinct more than 40,000 years old.
- Australia: The Land Where Time Began: A biography of the Australian continent Nawarla Gabarnmang Rock Shelter by M.H. Monroe (2013) http://austhrutime.com/nawarla_gabarnmang_rock_shelter.htm and
- ABC NEWS Megafauna cave painting could be 40,000 years old by Emma Masters (2010) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-05-31/megafauna-cave-painting-could-be-40000-years-old/847564 view http://www.smh.com.au/national/rock-art-paints-a-different-prehistory-20130705-2phai.html
KOONALDA CAVE AND ALLEN’S CAVE SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Occupied 30,000 year ago. The onset of the full glacial climate, which was at its peak between about 18,000 and 15,000 BP, brought these hunters and gatherers the problems of intense aridity and extremely cold, frosty winters. From around 25,000 BP, it was increasingly dry and windy, with widespread drying of lakes, extensive dune-building, expansion of the arid zone and a major drop in sea level. At this stressful time, some siters in ‘corridors’ were vacated, according to Verth, but other sites such as Puritjarra lay in ‘refuge’ areas by permanent water and continued to be in use, at least occasionally.
- The Land Where Time Began: A biography of the Australian continent – Allen’s Cave by M.H. Monroe (2013) https://austhrutime.com/allens_cave.htm
MANDU MANDU CREEK ROCK-SHELTER: Western extremity of the Australian arid zone lies Northwest Cape, where a small excavation in Mandu Mandu Creek rock-shelter has uncovered human occupation going back 34,000 years. This sizeable limestone rock-shelter in Cape Range national Park faces west over a 1-kilometre wide coastal plain to Ningaloo Reef. The initial 1-metre square test pit yielded over 500 stone artefacts, marine lollusc shells and marine and terrestrial bone fragments.
While the only faunal remains preserved in the lower, Pleistocene layer (below a date of 19,590 BP) were fish teeth and the thickest, most durable shell fragments (such as chiton valves and robust fragments of baler shell), it is clear ‘that during this early phase of occupation Aboriginal people had the knowledge and skills to exploit a variety of marine foods’.
The continental shelf is narrower here than anywhere else around Australia, and it seems that the sea was about 6 kilometres from the site when it was first occupied. Morse suggests that ‘there may be little real difference, in the range of food types exploited, between the marine economy of the Pleistocene occupants and that practised during Holocene times’.
20 000 years ago
THE GWION GWION [BRADSHAW] ROCK ART: This rock art is in the northwest Kimberley region of Australia has a painting from 20 000 to 30 000 years BP depicted a large canoe containing four people, and the paddles that were used for propulsion. http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/bradshaws/
In the Journey of Mankind page [tab] there is a link to an interactive map, which is not currently available for mobile and tablets devices, that is fun to play with.
This program may come with a warning or not open due to your web browser. I have found Internet Explorer has worked, while chrome has not.
- Bradshaw rock paintings [Wikipeadia] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradshaw_rock_paintings
- Bradshaw Foundation http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/bradshaws/introduction.php
- Aboriginal watercraft depictions in Western Australia by Nicolas Bigourdam http://museum.wa.gov.au/maritime-archaeology-db/sites/default/files/no._216_indigenous_depicts_2.pdf
KUTIKINA CAVE: This cave is occupied by Tasmanian Aboriginal people at the height of the last ice age. Some 10% of Tasmania is covered by glacial ice. Aboriginal Heritage of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area
(TWWHA): A literature review and synthesis report. Natural and Cultural Heritage Dept of Primary Industries, Parks and Water and Environment Tasmanian Government (2017) https://www.aboriginalheritage.tas.gov.au/Documents/aboriginal-heritage-twwha.pdf
18 000 years ago
BIRRIGAI ROCK SHELTER: This shelter was occupied in Pleistocene epoch by ACT (Canberra) Aboriginal community. Dated at 21,000 years old it is one of the oldest Aboriginal sites within the ACT region. The shelter was used during the height of the last glaciation and is likely to have been used as a protection from weather similar the current day Australian Alps. Occupation of the site would have been mainly during the summer months when hunting in the area.
- Birrigai Rock Shelter (part Block 10 Paddys River). ACT Heritage Council (2015) pdf http://www.environment.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/696500/Background-Information-Birrigai-Rock-Shelter-ENDORSED-HCM-20150604.pdf
- Exploring country – walk to Birrigai Rock Shelter, Tidbinbilla. ANTaR ACT (2017) http://antaract.org.au/2017/01/26/exploring-country-walk-to-birrigai-rock-shelter-tidbinbilla/
5 000 years ago
JAWOYN SITE: (40,000 rock art), carved by hand. Nawarla Gabarnmang site – the oldest rock art found in Australia. The Jawoyn People: Nitmiluk Tours (2018) https://www.nitmiluktours.com.au/about-us/jawoyn-people
- Nawarla Gabarnmang, a 45,180±910 cal BP Site in Jawoyn Country, Southwest Arnhem Land Plateau: Australian Archaeology Number 73, Dec 2011 – Short Report http://connectingcountry.arts.monash.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/david_etal_2011.pdf
3,500 years ago.
DUYFKEN POINT: February 2013 salvage excavation undertaken for Traditional Owners of an Aboriginal burial site eroding into the sea at Duyfken Point, West Cape York. Site dated to over 3,000 BP, representing one of the earliest sites in this region of Queensland and the only burial excavated on West Cape York. Team members Michael Westaway, Stephen Nichols
400 years ago
OTWAY PENINSULA: Bone tool deposits at Otway Peninsula, Victoria suggest Aboriginal people were working with animal skins. http://australianmuseum.net.au/indigenous-australia-timeline-pre-contact