Terra Australis

Terra Australis reports the results of archaeological and related research within the south and east of Asia, though mainly Australia, New Guinea and island Melanesia — lands that remained terra australis incognita to generations of prehistorians. Its subject is the settlement of the diverse environments in this isolated quarter of the globe by peoples who have maintained their discrete and traditional ways of life into the recent recorded or remembered past and at times into the observable present.

Terra Australis monographs 1 to 20 are available to download via the Open Research repository.

Please note: The following list of titles is sorted by publication date, with the most recent first.

Displaying results 1 to 25 of 35.

Histories of Australian Rock Art Research »

Publication date: September 2022
Australia has one of the largest inventories of rock art in the world with pictographs and petroglyphs found almost anywhere that has suitable rock surfaces – in rock shelters and caves, on boulders and rock platforms. First Nations people have been marking these places with figurative imagery, abstract designs, stencils and prints for tens of thousands of years, often engaging with earlier rock markings. The art reflects and expresses changing experiences within landscapes over time, spirituality, history, law and lore, as well as relationships between individuals and groups of people, plants, animals, land and Ancestral Beings that are said to have created the world, including some rock art. Since the late 1700s, people arriving in Australia have been fascinated with the rock art they encountered, with detailed studies commencing in the late 1800s. Through the 1900s an impressive body of research on Australian rock art was undertaken, with dedicated academic study using archaeological methods employed since the late 1940s. Since then, Australian rock art has been researched from various perspectives, including that of Traditional Owners, custodians and other community members. Through the 1900s, there was also growing interest in Australian rock art from researchers across the globe, leading many to visit or migrate to Australia to undertake rock art research. In this volume, the varied histories of Australian rock art research from different parts of the country are explored not only in terms of key researchers, developments and changes over time, but also the crucial role of First Nations people themselves in investigations of this key component of their living heritage.
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Archaeological Perspectives on Conflict and Warfare in Australia and the Pacific »

Publication date: March 2022
When James Boswell famously lamented the irrationality of war in 1777, he noted the universality of conflict across history and across space – even reaching what he described as the gentle and benign southern ocean nations. This volume discusses archaeological evidence of conflict from those southern oceans, from Palau and Guam, to Australia, Vanuatu and Tonga, the Marquesas, Easter Island and New Zealand. The evidence for conflict and warfare encompasses defensive earthworks on Palau, fortifications on Tonga, and intricate pa sites in New Zealand. It reports evidence of reciprocal sacrifice to appease deities in several island nations, and skirmishes and smaller scale conflicts, including in Easter Island. This volume traces aspects of colonial-era conflict in Australia and frontier battles in Vanuatu, and discusses depictions of World War II materiel in the rock art of Arnhem Land. Among the causes and motives discussed in these papers are pressure on resources, the ebb and flow of significant climate events, and the significant association of conflict with culture contact. The volume, necessarily selective, eclectic and wide-ranging, includes an incisive introduction that situates the evidence persuasively in the broader scholarship addressing the history of human warfare.
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Forts and Fortification in Wallacea »

Archaeological and Ethnohistoric Investigations

Publication date: September 2020
‘This volume presents ground-breaking research on fortified sites in three parts of Wallacea by a highly regarded group of scholars from Australia, Europe, Southeast Asia and the United States. In addition to surveying and dating defensive sites in often remote and difficult terrain, the chapters provide an important and scholarly set of archaeological and ethnohistoric studies that investigate the origin of forts in Wallacea. Socio-political instability from climate events, the materialisation of indigenous belief systems, and the substantial impact of imperial expansion and European colonialism are examined and comprise a significant addition to our knowledge of conflict and warfare in an under-studied part of the Indo-Pacific. The archaeological record for past conflict is frequently ambiguous and the contribution of warfare to social development is mired in debate and paradox. Authors demonstrate that forts and other defensive constructions are costly and complicated structures that, while designed and built to protect a community from a threat of imminent violence, had (and have) complicated life histories as a result of their architectural permanence, strategic locations and traditional cultural and political significance. Understanding why conflict outbreaks – like human colonisation – often appear in the past as a punctuated event can best be approached through long-term records of conflict and violence involving archaeology and allied historical disciplines, as has been successfully done here. The volume is essential reading for archaeologists, cultural heritage managers and those with an interest in conflict studies.’ — Professor Geoffrey Clark, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University, Canberra.
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Debating Lapita »

Distribution, Chronology, Society and Subsistence

Publication date: December 2019
‘This volume is the most comprehensive review of Lapita research to date, tackling many of the lingering questions regarding origin and dispersal. Multidisciplinary in nature with a focus on summarising new findings, but also identifying important gaps that can help direct future research.’ — Professor Scott Fitzpatrick, Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon ‘This substantial volume offers a welcome update on the definition of the Lapita culture. It significantly refreshes the knowledge on this foundational archaeological culture of the Pacific Islands in providing new data on sites and assemblages, and new discussions of hypotheses previously proposed.’ — Dr Frédérique Valentin, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Paris This volume comprises 23 chapters that focus on the archaeology of Lapita, a cultural horizon associated with the founding populations who first colonised much of the south west Pacific some 3000 years ago. The Lapita culture has been most clearly defined by its distinctive dentate-stamped decorated pottery and the design system represented on it and on further incised pots. Modern research now encompasses a whole range of aspects associated with Lapita and this is reflected in this volume. The broad overlapping themes of the volume—Lapita distribution and chronology, society and subsistence—relate to research questions that have long been debated in relation to Lapita.
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Archaeologies of Island Melanesia »

Current approaches to landscapes, exchange and practice

Publication date: August 2019
‘The island world of Melanesia—ranging from New Guinea and the Bismarcks through the Solomons, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia—is characterised more than anything by its boundless diversity in geography, language and culture. The deep historical roots of this diversity are only beginning to be uncovered by archaeological investigations, but as the contributions to this volume demonstrate, the exciting discoveries being made across this region are opening windows to our understanding of the historical processes that contributed to such remarkably varied cultures. Archaeologies of Island Melanesia offers a sampling of some of the recent and ongoing research that spans such topics as landscape, exchange systems, culture contact and archaeological practice, authored by some of the leading scholars in Oceanic archaeology.’ — Professor Patrick Vinton Kirch Professor of Anthropology, University of Hawai‘i Island Melanesia is a remarkable region in many respects, from its great ecological and linguistic diversity, to the complex histories of settlement and interaction spanning from the Pleistocene to the present. Archaeological research in Island Melanesia is currently going through a vibrant phase of exciting new discoveries and challenging debates about questions that apply far beyond the region. This volume draws together a variety of current perspectives in regional archaeology for Island Melanesia, focusing on Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea. It features both high-level theoretical approaches and rigorous data-driven case studies covering recent research in landscape archaeology, exchange and material culture, and cultural practices.
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The Spice Islands in Prehistory »

Archaeology in the Northern Moluccas, Indonesia

Edited by: Peter Bellwood
Publication date: June 2019
This monograph reports the results of archaeological investigations undertaken in the Northern Moluccas Islands (the Indonesian Province of Maluku Utara) by Indonesian, New Zealand and Australian archaeologists between 1989 and 1996. Excavations were undertaken in caves and open sites on four islands (Halmahera, Morotai, Kayoa and Gebe). The cultural sequence spans the past 35,000 years, commencing with shell and stone artefacts, progressing through the arrival of a Neolithic assemblage with red-slipped pottery, domesticated pigs and ground stone adzes around 1300 BC, and culminating in the appearance of Metal Age assemblages around 2000 years ago. The Metal Age also appears to have been a period of initial pottery use in Morotai Island, suggesting interaction between Austronesian-speaking and Papuan-speaking communities, whose descendants still populate these islands today. The 13 chapters in the volume have multiple authors, and include site excavation reports, discussions of radiocarbon chronology, earthenware pottery, lithic and non-ceramic artefacts, worked shell, animal bones, human osteology and health.
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Drawing in the Land »

Rock Art in the Upper Nepean, Sydney Basin, New South Wales

Authored by: Julie Dibden
Publication date: February 2019
Drawing in the Land offers an important contribution to the field of rock art research and Australian archaeology. It provides a detailed study of the previously under-examined rock art of the Hawkesbury/Nepean area of New South Wales. The study presents a detailed historiography of Australian rock art research and, through the lens of landscape archaeology, offers an innovative contribution to rock art studies in the wider Sydney Basin. The volume’s theoretical focus on materiality, embodied practice and performance allows for the charting of ideational change and provides a unique contribution to the late Holocene archaeology of NSW and contact archaeology within Australia more broadly.
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The Archaeology of Sulawesi »

Current Research on the Pleistocene to the Historic Period

Publication date: November 2018
The central Indonesian island of Sulawesi has recently been hitting headlines with respect to its archaeology. It contains some of the oldest directly dated rock art in the world, and some of the oldest evidence for a hominin presence beyond the southeastern limits of the Ice Age Asian continent. In this volume, scholars from Indonesia and Australia come together to present their research findings and views on a broad range of topics. From early periods, these include observations on Ice Age climate, life in caves and open sites, rock art, and the animals that humans exploited and lived alongside. The archaeology presented from later periods covers the rise of the Bugis kingdom, Chinese trade ceramics, and a range of site-based and regional topics from the Neolithic through to the arrival of Islam. This carefully edited volume is the first to be devoted entirely to the archaeology of the island of Sulawesi, and it lays down a baseline for significant future research. Peter Bellwood Emeritus Professor The Australian National University
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The Archaeology of Rock Art in Western Arnhem Land, Australia »

Publication date: November 2017
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.
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Ten Thousand Years of Cultivation at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea »

Publication date: July 2017
Kuk is a settlement at c. 1600 m altitude in the upper Wahgi Valley of the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea, near Mount Hagen, the provincial capital. The site forms part of the highland spine that runs for more than 2500 km from the western head of the island of New Guinea to the end of its eastern tail. Until the early 1930s, when the region was first explored by European outsiders, it was thought to be a single, uninhabited mountain chain. Instead, it was found to be a complex area of valleys and basins inhabited by large populations of people and pigs, supported by the intensive cultivation of the tropical American sweet potato on the slopes above swampy valley bottoms.  With the end of World War II, the area, with others, became a focus for the development of coffee and tea plantations, of which the establishment of Kuk Research Station was a result. Large-scale drainage of the swamps produced abundant evidence in the form of stone axes and preserved wooden digging sticks and spades for their past use in cultivation. Investigations in 1966 at a tea plantation in the upper Wahgi Valley by a small team from The Australian National University yielded a date of over 2000 years ago for a wooden stick collected from the bottom of a prehistoric ditch. The establishment of Kuk Research Station a few kilometres away shortly afterwards provided an ideal opportunity for a research project.
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New Perspectives in Southeast Asian and Pacific Prehistory »

Publication date: March 2017
‘This volume brings together a diversity of international scholars, unified in the theme of expanding scientific knowledge about humanity’s past in the Asia-Pacific region. The contents in total encompass a deep time range, concerning the origins and dispersals of anatomically modern humans, the lifestyles of Pleistocene and early Holocene Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers, the emergence of Neolithic farming communities, and the development of Iron Age societies. These core enduring issues continue to be explored throughout the vast region covered here, accordingly with a richness of results as shown by the authors. Befitting of the grand scope of this volume, the individual contributions articulate perspectives from multiple study areas and lines of evidence. Many of the chapters showcase new primary field data from archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Equally important, other chapters provide updated regional summaries of research in archaeology, linguistics, and human biology from East Asia through to the Western Pacific.’ Mike T. Carson Associate Professor of Archaeology Micronesian Area Research Center University of Guam
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An Archaeology of Early Christianity in Vanuatu »

Kastom and Religious Change on Tanna and Erromango, 1839–1920

Authored by: James Flexner
Publication date: December 2016
Religious change is at its core a material as much as a spiritual process. Beliefs related to intangible spirits, ghosts, or gods were enacted through material relationships between people, places, and objects. The archaeology of mission sites from Tanna and Erromango islands, southern Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides), offer an informative case study for understanding the material dimensions of religious change. One of the primary ways that cultural difference was thrown into relief in the Presbyterian New Hebrides missions was in the realm of objects. Christian Protestant missionaries believed that religious conversion had to be accompanied by changes in the material conditions of everyday life. Results of field archaeology and museum research on Tanna and Erromango, southern Vanuatu, show that the process of material transformation was not unidirectional. Just as Melanesian people changed religious beliefs and integrated some imported objects into everyday life, missionaries integrated local elements into their daily lives. Attempts to produce ‘civilised Christian natives’, or to change some elements of native life relating purely to ‘religion’ but not others, resulted instead in a proliferation of ‘hybrid’ forms. This is visible in the continuity of a variety of traditional practices subsumed under the umbrella term ‘kastom’ through to the present alongside Christianity. Melanesians didn’t become Christian, Christianity became Melanesian. The material basis of religious change was integral to this process.
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Journeys into the Rainforest »

Archaeology of Culture Change and Continuity on the Evelyn Tableland, North Queensland

Authored by: Åsa Ferrier
Publication date: November 2015
This monograph presents the results of archaeological research that takes a longitudinal approach to interpreting and understanding Aboriginal–European contact. It focuses on a small but unique area of tropical rainforest in far north Queensland’s Wet Tropics Bioregion, located within the traditional lands of the JirrbalAboriginal people on the Evelyn Tableland. The research integrates a diverse range of data sources: archaeological evidence recovered from Aboriginal open sites occupied in the pre- to post-contact periods, historical documents of early ethnographers, settlers and explorers in the region, supplemented with Aboriginal oral history testimony. Analyses of the archaeological evidence excavated from three open sites facilitated the identification of the trajectories of culture change and continuity that this investigation focused on: Aboriginal rainforest material culture and technology, plant subsistence strategies, and rainforest settlement patterns. Analyses of the data sets demonstrate that initial use of the rainforest environment on the Evelyn Tableland occurred during the early Holocene period, with successful adaptation and a change towards more permanent Aboriginal use of the rainforest becoming established in the late Holocene period. European arrival and settlement on traditional Aboriginal land resulted in a period of historical upheaval for the Aboriginal rainforest people. Following an initial period of violent interactions and strong Aboriginal resistance from the rainforest, Jirrbal Aboriginal people continued to adapt and transform their traditional culture to accommodate for the many changes forced upon them throughout the post‑contact period.
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Contextualising the Neolithic Occupation of Southern Vietnam »

The Role of Ceramics and Potters at An Son

Authored by: Carmen Sarjeant
Publication date: November 2014
Excavated in 2009, An Son, Long An Province, southern Vietnam has been dated to the second millennium BC, with evidence for neolithic occupation and burials. Very little is known about the neolithic period in southern Vietnam, and the routes and chronology for the appearance of cultivation, domestic animals, and ceramic and lithic technologies associated with sedentary settlements in mainland Southeast Asia are still debated. The ways in which the ceramic material culture at An Son conforms to the wider neolithic expression observed in Southeast Asia is investigated, and local and regional innovations are identified. The An Son ceramic assemblage is discussed in great detail to characterise the neolithic occupation, while considering the nature of craft production, manufacturing methods and the transference of traditions. Contextualising the neolithic in southern Vietnam is conducted through a comparative study of material culture between An Son and the sites of Bến Ðò, Bình Đa, Cù Lao Rùa, Cái Vạn, Cầu Sắt, Đa Kai, Đình Ông, Lộc Giang, Rạch Lá, Rạch Núi and Suối Linh, all in southern Vietnam. Another analysis is presented to contextualise An Son in the wider neolithic landscape of mainland Southeast Asia, between An Son and Ban Non Wat, early Ban Lum Khao, early Ban Chiang, early Non Nok Tha, Khok Charoen, Tha Kae, Khok Phanom Di, Nong Nor (phase 1), Samrong Sen, Laang Spean, Krek, Bàu Tró, Mán Bạc and Xóm Rền. The aspects of material culture at An Son that appear to have ancestral links are considered in this research as well as local interaction spheres.
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Degei's Descendants »

Spirits, Place and People in Pre-Cession Fiji

Edited by: Matthew Spriggs, Deryck Scarr
Publication date: August 2014
Dr Parke’s monograph examines how Fijians, especially in western areas of Fiji, currently understand and explain the origins and development of the social and political divisions of late pre-colonial traditional Fijian society. It assesses the reasoning, consistency and, where possible, the historical accuracy of such understandings. The oral history research which forms the backbone of the study was conducted in either standard Fijian or one or other of the western Fijian dialects with which Dr Parke was familiar. The period on which the monograph concentrates is the two centuries or so immediately prior to the Deed of Cession on 10 October 1874. A number of the major chiefs of Fiji had offered to cede Fiji to Queen Victoria; and after the offer had been accepted, Fiji became a British Crown Colony on that day. The volume will be of interest to all archaeologists, anthropologists and historians with an interest in Fiji. It will also be of wider interest to Pacific Studies scholars and those of British colonial history as well as historians with a wider interest in indigenous traditional histories and their role in governance today.
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4000 Years of Migration and Cultural Exchange »

The Archaeology of the Batanes Islands, Northern Philippines

Edited by: Peter Bellwood, Eusebio Dizon
Publication date: December 2013
The project reported on in this monograph has been concerned with the archaeology of the Batanes Islands, an archipelago that must have been settled quite early in the process of Austronesian dispersal from Taiwan southwards into the Philippines. A multi-phase archaeological sequence covering the past 4000 years for the islands of Itbayat, Batan, Sabtang and Siayan is presented, extending from the Neolithic to the final phase of Batanes prehistory, just prior to the late 17th century arrivals of foreign navigators such as Jirobei (Japan) and William Dampier (England), followed by the first Spanish missionaries. So far, no traces of preceramic settlement have been found in Batanes, but the archaeological sequence there from the Neolithic onwards, like that in the Cagayan Valley in northern Luzon, is now one of the best-established in the Philippines.
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Life on the Margins »

An Archaeological Investigation of Late Holocene Economic Variability, Blue Mud Bay, Northern Australia

Authored by: Patrick Faulkner
Publication date: December 2013
The research presented here is primarily concerned with human-environment interactions on the tropical coast of northern Australia during the late Holocene. Based on the suggestion that significant change can occur within short time-frames as a direct result of interactive processes, the archaeological evidence from the Point Blane Peninsula, Blue Mud Bay, is used to address the issue of how much change and variability occurred in hunter-gatherer economic and social structures during the late Holocene in coastal northeastern Arnhem Land. The suggestion proposed here is that processes of environmental and climatic change resulted in changes in resource distribution and abundance, which in turn affected patterns of settlement and resource exploitation strategies, levels of mobility and, potentially, the size of foraging groups on the coast. The question of human behavioural variability over the last 3000 years in Blue Mud Bay has been addressed by examining issues of scale and resolution in archaeological interpretation, specifically the differential chronological and spatial patterning of shell midden and mound sites on the peninsula in conjunction with variability in molluscan resource exploitation. To this end, the biological and ecological characteristics of the dominant molluscan species is considered in detail, in combination with assessing the potential for human impact through predation. Investigating pre-contact coastal foraging behaviour via the archaeological record provides an opportunity for change to recognised in a number of ways. For example, a differential focus on resources, variations in group size and levels of mobility can all be identified. It has also been shown that human-environment interactions are non-linear or progressive, and that human behaviour during the late Holocene was both flexible and dynamic.
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Prehistoric Marine Resource Use in the Indo-Pacific Regions »

Edited by: Rintaro Ono, Alex Morrison, David Addison
Publication date: December 2013
Although historic sources provide information on recent centuries, archaeology can contribute longer term understandings of pre-industrial marine exploitation in the Indo-Pacific region, providing valuable baseline data for evaluating contemporary ecological trends. This volume contains eleven papers which constitute a diverse but coherent collection on past and present marine resource use in the Indo-Pacific region, within a human-ecological perspective. The geographical focus extends from Eastern Asia, mainly Japan and Insular Southeast Asia (especially the Philippines) to the tropical Pacific (Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia) and outlying sites in coastal Tanzania (Indian Ocean) and coastal California (North Pacific). The volume is divided thematically and temporally into four parts: Part 1, Prehistoric and historic marine resource use in the Indo-Pacific Region; Part 2, Specific marine resource use in the Pacific and Asia; Part 3, Marine use and material culture in the Western Pacific; and Part 4, Modern marine use and resource management.
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Transcending the Culture–Nature Divide in Cultural Heritage »

Views from the Asia–Pacific region

Edited by: Sally Brockwell, Sue O'Connor, Denis Byrne
Publication date: December 2013
While considerable research and on-ground project work focuses on the interface between Indigenous/local people and nature conservation in the Asia-Pacific region, the interface between these people and cultural heritage conservation has not received the same attention. This collection brings together papers on the current mechanisms in place in the region to conserve cultural heritage values. It will provide an overview of the extent to which local communities have been engaged in assessing the significance of this heritage and conserving it. It will address the extent to which management regimes have variously allowed, facilitated or obstructed continuing cultural engagement with heritage places and landscapes, and discuss the problems agencies experience with protection and management of cultural heritage places.
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Taking the High Ground »

The archaeology of Rapa, a fortified island in remote East Polynesia

Edited by: Atholl Anderson, Douglas J. Kennett
Publication date: November 2012
This volume brings the remote and little known island of Rapa firmly to the forefront of Polynesian archaeology. Thirteen authors contribute 14 chapters, covering not only the basic archaeology of coastal sites, rock shelters, and fortifications, but faunal remains, agricultural development, and marine exploitation. The results, presented within a chronology framed by Bayesian analysis, are set against a background of ethnohistory and ethnology. Highly unusual in tropical Polynesian archaeology are descriptions of artefacts of perishable material. Taking the High Ground provides important insights into how a group of Polynesian settlers adapted to an isolated and in some ways restrictive environment.
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Peopled Landscapes »

Archaeological and Biogeographic Approaches to Landscapes

Edited by: Simon G. Haberle, Bruno David
Publication date: January 2012
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
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Pacific Island Heritage »

Archaeology, Identity & Community

Edited by: Jolie Liston, Geoffrey Clark, Dwight Alexander
Publication date: November 2011
‘This volume emerges from a ground-breaking conference held in the Republic of Palau on cultural heritage in the Pacific. It includes bold investigations of the role of cultural heritage in identity-making, and the ways in which community engagement informs heritage management practices. This is the first broad and detailed investigation of the unique and irreplaceable cultural heritage of the Pacific from a heritage management perspective. It identifies new trends in research and assesses relationships between archaeologists, heritage managers and local communities. The methods which emerge from these relationships will be critical to the effective management of heritage sites in the 21st century. A wonderful book which emerges from an extraordinary conference. Essential reading for cultural heritage managers, archaeologists and others with an interest in caring for the unique cultural heritage of the Pacific Islands.’ — Professor Claire Smith, President World Archaeological Congress
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Man Bac »

The Excavation of a Neolithic Site in Northern Vietnam

Edited by: Marc F. Oxenham, Hirofumi Matsumura, Nguyen Kim Dung
Publication date: May 2011
The site of Man Bac in the Red River Delta of Vietnam, one of the most meticulously excavated and carefully analysed of Southeast Asian archaeological sites in the past few years, is emerging as a key site in the region. This book carefully analyses the human and animal remains and puts them into context. The authors describe in detail the health status, the unusual demographic profile and the interestingly divergent affinities of the cemetery population, and discuss their meaning, particularly in association with evidence for the use of marine and terrestrial animal resources; they argue convincingly that the site documents a time when the face of the region’s population was undergoing a fundamental shift, associated with a changing economic subsistence base. Physical anthropologists and archaeologists have argued for years over the timeline, the manner and the very nature of Southeast Asian population history, and this book is essential reading in this debate. Two supporting appendices describe the individual remains in detail.
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Altered Ecologies »

Fire, climate and human influence on terrestrial landscapes

Edited by: S. Haberle, J. Stevenson, M. Prebble
Publication date: November 2010
Like a star chart this volume orientates the reader to the key issues and debates in Pacific and Australasian biogeography, palaeoecology and human ecology. A feature of this collection is the diversity of approaches ranging from interpretation of the biogeographic significance of plant and animal distributional patterns, pollen analysis from peats and lake sediments to discern Quaternary climate change, explanation of the patterns of faunal extinction events, the interplay of fire on landscape evolution, and models of the environmental consequences of human settlement patterns. The diversity of approaches, geographic scope and academic rigor are a fitting tribute to the enormous contributions of Geoff Hope. As made apparent in this volume, Hope pioneered multidisciplinary understanding of the history and impacts of human cultures in the Australia- Pacific region, arguably the globe’s premier model systems for understanding the consequences of human colonization on ecological systems. The distinguished scholars who have contributed to this volume also demonstrate Hope’s enduring contribution as an inspirational research leader, collaborator and mentor. Terra Australis leave no doubt that history matters, not only for land management, but more importantly, in alerting settler and indigenous societies alike to their past ecological impacts and future environmental trajectories.
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The Early Prehistory of Fiji »

Publication date: December 2009
I enjoyed reading this volume. It is rare to see such a comprehensive report on hard data published these days, especially one so insightfully contextualised by the editors’ introductory and concluding chapters. These scholars and the others involved in the work really know their stuff, and it shows. The editors connect the preoccupations of Pacific archaeologists with those of their colleagues working in other island regions and on “big questions” of colonisation, migration, interaction and patterns and processes of cultural change in hitherto-uninhabited environments. These sorts of outward-looking, big-picture contextual studies are invaluable, but all too often are missing from locally- and regionally-oriented writing, very much to its detriment. In sum, the work strongly advances our understanding of the early prehistory of Fiji through its well-integrated combination of original research and the reinterpretation of existing knowledge in the context of wider theoretical and historical concerns. In doing so The Early Prehistory of Fiji makes a truly substantial contribution to Pacific and archaeological scholarship. Professor Ian Lilley, The University of Queensland
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