Jiyer Cave revisited: Preliminary results from northeast Queensland rainforest

01st June 2002

Richard Cosgrove and Ernie Raymont

The paper presents the initial results of a project that aims to investigate the antiquity of human occupation of Australian tropical rainforests and the role that toxic plants played in the adaptation process. International research suggests that people only permanently occupied rainforests in the last 5000 years with access to agriculture. The fact that Australian rainforest Aborigines were hunter-gatherers using specialised processing
technology to exploit toxic plant foods and living at high population densities suggests a more complex situation. These groups differed significantly from their neighbours in the semi-arid and arid zones who have until recently, provided ethno-archaeological models for explaining past Aboriginal behaviour and the bases for regional archaeology. On the other hand almost nothing is known archaeologically about the adjacent rainforest groups because little work has been undertaken to investigate the temporal and spatial nature of these societies and the affect of changing rainforest ecology over the past 35,000 years. This research begins this process.

Richard Cosgrove and Ernie Raymont
Jiyer Cave revisited: Preliminary results from northeast Queensland rainforest
June 2002
54
29-36
Article
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