Bruno David

Associate Professor Bruno David (ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage) is an archaeologist at the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre, Monash University. He has worked and published extensively on collaborative cultural history projects with Indigenous communities across northern Australia and along the southern lowlands of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the US. Together with co-editors Jean-Jacques Delannoy and Jean-Michel Geneste, he has pioneered ‘archaeomorphological’ approaches to rock art research, as developed in this volume. His latest book is Cave Art (Thames & Hudson, 2017).

The Archaeology of Rock Art in Western Arnhem Land, Australia »

Western Arnhem Land, in the Top End of Australia’s Northern Territory, has a rich archaeological landscape, ethnographic record and body of rock art that displays an astonishing array of imagery on shelter walls and ceilings. While the archaeology goes back to the earliest period of Aboriginal occupation of the continent, the rock art represents some of the richest, most diverse and visually most impressive regional assemblages anywhere in the world. To better understand this multi-dimensional cultural record, The Archaeology of Rock Art in Western Arnhem Land, Australia focuses on the nature and antiquity of the region’s rock art as revealed by archaeological surveys and excavations, and the application of novel analytical methods. This volume also presents new findings by which to rethink how Aboriginal peoples have socially engaged in and with places across western Arnhem Land, from the north to the south, from the plains to the spectacular rocky landscapes of the plateau. The dynamic nature of Arnhem Land rock art is explored and articulated in innovative ways that shed new light on the region’s deep time Aboriginal history.

Peopled Landscapes »

Archaeological and Biogeographic Approaches to Landscapes

Edited by: Simon G. Haberle, Bruno David
This impressive collection celebrates the work of Peter Kershaw, a key figure in the field of Australian palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Over almost half a century his research helped reconceptualize ecology in Australia, creating a detailed understanding of environmental change in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Within a biogeographic framework one of his exceptional contributions was to explore the ways that Aboriginal people may have modified the landscape through the effects  of anthropogenic burning. These ideas have had significant impacts on thinking within the fields of geomorphology, biogeography, archaeology, anthropology and history. Papers presented here continue to explore the dynamism of landscape change in Australia and the contribution of humans to those transformations. The volume is structured in two sections. The first examines evidence for human engagement with landscape, focusing on Australia and Papua New Guinea but also dealing with the human/environmental histories of Europe and Asia. The second section contains papers that examine palaeoecology and present some of the latest research into environmental change in Australia and New Zealand. Individually these papers, written by many of Australia’s prominent researchers in these fields, are significant contributions to our knowledge of Quaternary landscapes and human land use. But Peopled Landscapes also signifies the disciplinary entanglement that is archaeological and biogeographic research in this region, with archaeologists and environmental scientists contributing to both studies of human land use and palaeoecology. Peopled Landscapes reveals the interdisciplinary richness of Quaternary research in the Australasian region as well as the complexity and richness of the entangled environmental and human pasts of these lands.  — Prof. Peter Hiscock, The Australian National University