Dark Emu: Precolonial Australian native society - agricultural or hunter-gatherer?

Nov 2011
The Bluff
Again you fail to understand the difference between speculation and evidence. The failure is clearly deliberate. As for the the flat earth comparison, you again fail to grasp the point. I'd explain it but to what end?
May 2011
Rural Australia
Australian Prehistory: Bibliography

[DRAFT]: Comments, additions, etc welcome ...

Geoffrey Blainey (1976): Triumph of the Nomads: History of Ancient Australia

Henry Reynolds (1981): The Other Side of the Frontier : Aboriginal Resistance to the European Invasion

Tony Swain (1993). A place for strangers: towards a history of Australian Aboriginal being

Harry Lourandos (1997): Continent of Hunter-Gatherers: New Perspectives in Australian Prehistory

Jennifer Isaacs (2006): Australian Dreaming: 40,000 Years of Aboriginal History

Rupert Gerritsen (2008): Australia and the Origins of Agriculture

Bill Gammage (2011): The biggest estate on earth : how Aborigines made Australia,

Henry Reynolds (2013): Forgotten War

Scott Cane (2013): First Footprints - The epic story of the First Australians

Bruce Pascoe (2014): Dark Emu: Black Seeds: Agriculture Or Accident?
May 2011
Rural Australia

He was included on the basis of his early book "Triumph of the Nomads: History of Ancient Australia" (1976) It's blurb runs as follows: "In this fascinating re-assessment of the ancient aborigines, Australia's foremost historian makes the case that these nomadic peoples were not hapless primitives trapped in a hostile environment, but the triumphant masters of their continent. A continent which they discovered in truly heroic expeditions."

Since the 1970's there has been - in Australia - the advent of the "History Wars" to which Blainey has contributed.

Geoffrey Blainey - Wikipedia

Blainey coined the term the "Black armband view of history" to refer to those historians and academics, usually leftist, who denigrated Australia's past to an unusual degree and even accused European Australians of genocide against Aborigines.​
Critics of Blainey's article claimed that it was anti-Aboriginal. Yet, Blainey applauded the "many distinctive merits" of the traditional Aboriginal way of life.[41] Moreover, Blainey's earlier book Triumph of the Nomads,[42] was highly sympathetic to Aboriginal people, as the title indicates. It is still said to be the only narrative history of Aboriginal Australia before 1788, and a pioneering work. It was listed by the National Book Council in 1984 as one of the ten most significant Australian books of the previous 10 years.[43]

At the moment (I am relatively new to the field) I am inclined to treat his early work as contributory to an understanding of precolonial society, and to treat his later works as "History Wars" reactions to Reynolds.
May 2011
Rural Australia
DRAFT: Australian Prehistory: Draft Timeline

Comments, additions, modifications welcome ....

75,000 - Toba supereruption: global volcanic winter 6-10 years, possibly a 1,000-year cooling episode.

65,000 to 50,000 - [African origin of modern humans] The most significant "recent" wave took place about 70,000 years ago, via the so-called "Southern Route", spreading rapidly along the coast of Asia and reaching Australia. Recent African origin of modern humans - Wikipedia

65,000 - (or earlier) First Australian People arrive (from North?) When the north-west of Australia, which is closest to Asia, was first occupied, the region consisted of open tropical forests and woodlands. After around 10,000 years of stable climatic conditions, by which time the Aboriginal people had settled the entire continent, temperatures began cooling and winds became stronger, leading to the beginning of an ice age

60,000 - Ice Age beginning

40,000 - 50,000 Mungo Man: Lake Mungo remains - Wikipedia

40,000 - First Australian People arrive in Tasmania

30,000 - Oldest seed grinding stone, Cuddie Springs (Italy, Europe similar date)

26,500 to 15,000 - Last Glacial Maximum: drought, desertification, sea levels 150m lower than today.

26,000 to 15,000 - Australian Megafauna extinction

18,000 - ice age ends.


13,000 - 'Conflict' increasing territorial conflict possibly due to sea level rise and new competition for land and resources. (1)

12,500 - Neolithic Revolution: wide-scale transition of many human cultures from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and settlement. Neolithic Revolution - Wikipedia

12,000 - Sea-level rise covered Tas land bridge, inhabitants isolated until European settlers

11,700 - End of the Pleistocene Epoch (began about 2.6 million years ago)
Pleistocene - Wikipedia

Start of the Holocene Epoch


10,000 - Present day Australian climate established.

10,000 - Earliest shell middens (SW SA and SW Vic) [4]

9,000 - Dampier Archipeligo; stone houses, shell middens and a grinding stone

8,000 - Artwork Ubirr Kakadu of thylacine and zaglossus (long beaked echidna)

6,000 - Sea levels stabilised to near its present levels

5,000 - Arrival of the dingo: Dingo - Wikipedia

4,000 to 3,000 - Intensification (Great Intensification Debate in Australian Archaeology)

4,000 - new art style of 'x-ray- (1)

3,500 - (Europe/Asia) The Wheeled vehicle Wheel - Wikipedia
3,300 - (Europe/Asia) Bronze Age; smelting Bronze Age - Wikipedia

3,000 - 'Increased Territoriality' - population increase, sea levels peak, unpredictable climate (1)

2,000 - 'Consolidated Settlement '- Villages emerge across south-eastern Australia ... Aquaculture develops and there is evidence of gardening. Complex social and religous systems [last section 'The Great Flood'] (1)

1,000 - 'Trade and Exchange' - Extensive trade routes develop across the country ... resources and tools. (1)

300 - 'New Arrivals' (2) - Indonesian fishermen (Maccasins ? ) ... then Portuguese, Dutch, etc (1)


(1) Post #978 Specul8 provides info from Scott Cane (2013): First Footprints (thanks specul8 !)
(2) Indigenous Australia Timeline - Pre-Contact - Australian Museum
(3) WIKI
[4] Shell Midden Chronology in Southwestern Victoria: Reflections of Change in Prehistoric Population and Subsistence? Author(s): Michael C. S. Godfrey Source: Archaeology in Oceania, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Jul., 1989), pp. 65-69 Published by: Wiley on behalf of Oceania Publications, University of Sydney Stable URL: Shell Midden Chronology in Southwestern Victoria: Reflections of Change in Prehistoric Population and Subsistence? on JSTOR


Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
Scott Crane in 'First Footprints' makes a good case for settlement of SEA before the Toba event , and the event being a significant 'driver' towards first entry into Australia .
May 2011
Rural Australia
It would appear that the precolonial society a had good knowledge of astronomy.

Astronomical Orientations of Bora Ceremonial Grounds in Southeast Australia
Robert S. Fuller1,2 , Duane W. Hamacher1,3 and Ray P. Norris1,2,4
Australian Archaeology, No. 77 | Preprint


Ethnographic evidence indicates that bora (initiation) ceremonial sites in southeast Australia, which typically comprise a pair of circles connected by a pathway, are symbolically reflected in the Milky Way as the ‘Sky Bora’. This evidence also indicates that the position of the Sky Bora signifies the time of the year when initiation ceremonies are held. We use archaeological data to test the hypothesis that southeast Australian bora grounds have a preferred orientation to the position of the Milky Way in the night sky in August, when the plane of the galaxy from Crux to Sagittarius is roughly vertical in the evening sky to the south-southwest. We accomplish this by measuring the orientations of 68 bora grounds using a combination of data from the archaeological literature and site cards in the New South Wales Aboriginal Heritage Information Management System database. We find that bora grounds have a preferred orientation to the south and southwest, consistent with the Sky Bora hypothesis. Monte Carlo statistics show that these preferences were not the result of chance alignments, but were deliberate.​
May 2011
Rural Australia
Humans left Africa at least a hundred thousand years before the Toba event.
Earliest Human Remains Outside Africa Were Just Discovered in Israel | Science | Smithsonian

This is supported by the recent Moroccan find
Ancient Fossils from Morocco Mess Up Modern Human Origins
Interesting discoveries - in line with the WIKI article:
Recent African origin of modern humans - Wikipedia
There were at least several "out-of-Africa" dispersals of modern humans, possibly beginning as early as 270,000 years ago, and certainly during 130,000 to 115,000 ago via northern Africa.[4][5][6][7][8][9] These early waves appear to have mostly died out or retreated by 80,000 years ago​
The most significant "recent" wave took place about 70,000 years ago, via the so-called "Southern Route", spreading rapidly along the coast of Asia and reaching Australia by around 65,000–50,000 years ago​
May 2011
Rural Australia
Scott Crane in 'First Footprints' makes a good case for settlement of SEA before the Toba event , and the event being a significant 'driver' towards first entry into Australia .

I found an audio interview of this author, and made the following notes:

Cane bases a possible 60,000 years ago landfall mostly on archaeological remains
suggested to be in association with luminescence dates from four well known sites:
Lake Mungo, Devils Lair, Nauwalabila, and Madjedbebe (Malakunanja II).

Scott Caine on earliest arrival ...

Arhnem 61,000 (500 kms from coast)
SW dates 50,000
TAS glacial 46,000
Mungo 52,000

45,000 Painting Marsupial Lion Philcalea. Leopard like

6000 galleries, countless thousands of artworks

25000 Pilbira Region and elsewhere - earliest depiction of faces (70 images)

Claims that even if these depictions of faces were to be 10,000 years old,
these are the earliest depictions of the human face.​

Is this claim correct? What is the earliest depiction of the human face from Europe or Asia or elsewhere?