Two examples of the role of ecological biogeography in Australian prehistory: The fire ecology of Callitris intratropica, and the spatial pattern of stone tools in the Northern Territory

23rd January 2014

Results of computer model of the response of a one ha monospecific stand of Callitris intratropica after 300 yrs of various fire regimes (published in Australian Archaeology 41:9).

Results of computer model of the response of a one ha monospecific stand of Callitris intratropica after 300 yrs of various fire regimes (published in Australian Archaeology 41:9).

David Bowman

Introduction*

The debate concerning the relationship of Aborigines with the Australian environment through time is severely hampered by the lack of data. Some aspects of this debate are insoluble. However there remains a great need to disaggregate facts from conjecture and testable hypotheses from untestable questions. It is my opinion that ecological biogeography (i.e. the analysis of contemporary ecological relationships) can provide a factual context to conduct the necessarily speculative discourse associated with palaeoecological and historical biogeographic evidence (Bowman and Brown 1986). In this article I illustrate the contribution of ecological biogeography to two prehistorical problems: the impact of Aboriginal burning on vegetation and the spatial variation of stone tools.

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Bowman, D.
Two examples of the role of ecological biogeography in Australian prehistory: The fire ecology of Callitris intratropica, and the spatial pattern of stone tools in the Northern Territory
December 1995
41
8–11
Article
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