Contact archaeology and the landscapes of pastoralism in the north-west of Australia

Harrison, Rodney (2004). Contact archaeology and the landscapes of pastoralism in the north-west of Australia. In: Murray, Tim ed. The Archaeology of Contact in Settler Societies. New Directions in Archaeology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 109–143.

URL: https://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/arc...

Abstract

Preliminary archaeological research on contact sites in the southeast Kimberley region of Western Australia provides a database with which to examine social change as well as changes in material culture that occurred as a result of contact between indigenous and settler Australians on pastoral stations in the recent past. One such station is Old Lamboo, located south of the town of Halls Creek. The history and archaeology of the station highlights some of the ways in which Aboriginal people in the east Kimberley developed new social identities for themselves, which were separate from both the colonising group as well as the parent society itself. In doing so, they created new meanings for existing items of material culture as well as for ‘exotic’ items from the settler groups that were incorporated into the existing material culture. As a result of such contact, both indigenous and settler Australians on pastoral stations developed new, shared ways of understanding landscape that were the product of the unique historical circumstances of contact in the north west of Australia.

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