The thin film of human action: interpretations of arid zone archaeology

19th November 2013

The study area (published in Australian Archaeology 57:33).

The study area (published in Australian Archaeology 57:33).

Huw Barton

Laid across most of inland Australia is a behavioural record aggregating the material history of human actions that is of vast size and of vast temporal span. This four-dimensional landscape is a palimpsest on which successive generations have left their impressions, removed and sometimes re-worked the impressions of others. How do we frame and picture this record of the past? Such an archaeological record has the potential to reveal much about the nature of human behaviour and histories of human action, providing we remain aware of the influence of scale on our interpretation and select appropriate units of analysis. This paper explores these issues to infer the long-term behavioural patterns of hunter-gatherers from the Simpson Desert in central Australia.

Barton, H.
The thin film of human action: interpretations of arid zone archaeology
2003
57
32–41
Article
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