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Date(s) - 10/03/2016
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Social Sciences Room 1 (G28), UWA

“Did the Tasmanian Aborigines eat fish?” presented by Richard Cosgrove

The presence or absence of fish in the Tasmanian archaeological record has long been a lightening rod for the broader debates about the level of social and technological impacts within isolated human populations. The narrative has largely been driven by data derived from the Rocky Cape caves, dug by Rhys Jones in the 1960s. More recent preliminary analysis of Sisters Creek Cave midden material, also excavated by Rhys Jones in 1964, has been undertaken. It appears that the evidence for subsistence activities is highly variable in both space and time at the two sites. It is concluded that fish may have only played a minor food role at many sites and its decline in consumption was gradual, over a longer time period, rather than the rapid cessation, as previously argued. The Tasmanian Aboriginal community has supported this work.

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