Fishers, Gatherers and Hunters on the Moreton Fringe: Reconsidering the Prehistoric Aboriginal Marine Fishery in Southeast Queensland, Australia

Ulm, Sean (1995). Fishers, Gatherers and Hunters on the Moreton Fringe: Reconsidering the Prehistoric Aboriginal Marine Fishery in Southeast Queensland, Australia BA (Hons), Department of Anthropology and Sociology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Ulm, Sean
Thesis Title Fishers, Gatherers and Hunters on the Moreton Fringe: Reconsidering the Prehistoric Aboriginal Marine Fishery in Southeast Queensland, Australia
School, Centre or Institute Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1995-10-01
Thesis type BA (Hons)
Subjects 430200 Archaeology and Prehistory
430000 History and Archaeology
430201 Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherer Societies (incl. Pleistocene Archaeology)
Abstract/Summary In this thesis I present a critical examination of Walters' (1987, 1989, 1992a, 1992c) model of late-Holocene intensification of Aboriginal marine fishing in southeast Queensland, Australia. I demonstrate significant problems in three premises central to his interpretation of prehistoric cultural change in the region. Firstly, environmental, ethnohistorical and archaeological evidence do not support the proposition that the coastal lowlands were a marginal landscape for human occupation at any time in the Holocene or that a time-lag occurred between sea-level stabilisation and Aboriginal occupation of the coast. Nor is there any palaeoecological evidence to support Walters' argument that periods of greater sedimentation occurring around 3,000 BP caused increases in marine resource productivity. Secondly, even if this enrichment did occur it does not correlate with changes documented in the archaeological record from this time. The occupational chronology demonstrates that significant increases in the number of occupied sites and the rate of site establishment does not occur until around 1,000 BP, some 2,000 years after the proposed enrichment of Moreton Bay. Finally, there is no consistent pattern of increase through time in the quantity of fish remains recovered from archaeological sites in the region. In interpreting this evidence I discuss major taphonomic issues and research biases which have played a significant role in structuring the archaeological database for the region. The Holocene archaeological record of southeast Queensland emerges as much more complex and variable than is generally portrayed.
Keyword archaeology
southeast Queensland
indigenous
aboriginal
Moreton Bay
fishing

 
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Created: Tue, 09 May 2006, 10:00:00 EST by Sean Geoffrey Francis Ulm