'Where the cattle went, they went': towards a phenomenological archaeology of mustering in the Kunderang Gorges, northeastern New South Wales

Harrison, Rodney (2010). 'Where the cattle went, they went': towards a phenomenological archaeology of mustering in the Kunderang Gorges, northeastern New South Wales. In: Lewis, Helen and Semple, Sarah eds. Perspectives in Landscape Archaeology. BAR International Series (2103). Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 45–54.

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Abstract

The paper seeks to understand the relationships that developed between former pastoral workers and the rugged landscape of the Kunderang Ravines through a consideration of the results of a joint program of archaeological and oral history research. Mapping the 'landscape biographies' of former Aboriginal and settler pastoral workers and their descendents, and 'story-trekking' (after Green et al. 2003) along their remembered narrative paths allows a more embodied approach to the archaeology of cattle mustering to emerge. By riding and walking along familiar pathways and mustering routes, pastoral workers and their kin created a familiar sense of being-in-the-landscape (after Bender 2001), while simultaneously creating that landscape. In many ways, the work on Kunderang can be understood as a response to Gaston Bachelard's call for 'each one of us [to] speak of his roads, his crossroads, his roadside benches; each one of us should make a surveyor's map of his lost field and meadows' (1969: 11) and to understand those habits which he describes in the same work as the 'passionate liaison of our bodies' with a space or landscape (in Wise 2000).

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