The first edition of this book was published in 1988, and it has been widely used as a textbook in universities and schools throughout Australia and overseas, as well as by general readers who have sought to gain some understanding of Aboriginal cultures. In this substantial revision the opening chapter on archaeology has taken account of research that has been undertaken since 1988. Some details have been added and references updated in chapters on religion, economics, social organisation, politics, language and art. The previous final chapter on change has been replaced by two chapters, which provide an overview of contact history in Australia from the period of colonisation to the present.
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