An Examination of Indigenous Australian Culturally Modified Trees in South Australia

01st June 2002

Greg Carver

BArch(Hons),  Department  of Archaeology, Flinders University, October 2001

This thesis examines Aboriginal culturally modified trees (CMTs) in South Australia with an emphasis on canoe shapes. When many early historical photographs and films depicting Aboriginal people are viewed it is realised how important wooden artefacts were to the Indigenous population of Australia. Unfortunately most of these wooden implements have succumbed to the ravages of time and no longer exist in the archaeological record. What does remain is a variety of CMTs bearing scars from the removal of those artefacts. Distinguishing between a CMT and a natural scar is often fraught with problems making a succinct identification criteria imperative. This thesis presents a identification criteria for use in South Australia to provide the means for positive recognition of CMTs in the field thus assist in the protection and preservation of the surviving trees. A detailed CMT recording procedure is suggested to optimise the amount of information retained for future studies when the trees no longer exists. Specific consideration is given to the variety of CMTs that can be found bearing distinct canoe shapes and an hypothesis presented as to ·why those particular shapes were required.

Greg Carver
An Examination of Indigenous Australian Culturally Modified Trees in South Australia
June 2002
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Thesis Abstracts
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