Continent of Hunter-Gatherers: New Perspectives in Australian Prehistory
OverviewThis book challenges traditional perceptions of Australian Aboriginal prehistory: that the environment is the major determinant of hunter-gatherers; that Aborigines were egalitarian and culturally homogeneous and therefore experienced few economic and demographic changes. Harry Lourandos argues that the social and economic processes of hunter-gatherers were complex and that the prehistoric period was dynamic and revolutionary. Lourandos presents prehistoric data, reviews archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence, and analyses environmental, demographic and socially-oriented perspectives - drawing from them an original hypothesis. He addresses initial colonisation, the role of Tasmanian Aborigines, the role of fire, faunal extinctions, the intensification debate, horticultural origins, plant exploitation, and the significance of Australian prehistory in the study of other prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies.