Indigenous Nation-Building and Landscape Archaeology on Ngadjuri Country

06th November 2013

LR TA Lower 2013060 - image - Ngadjuri IMG_6589Kylie Lower

 M. Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Flinders University, November 2009

The European diaspora had devastating effects for Indigenous populations around the globe. Many groups faced forced assimilation, dispossession of traditional lands, policies aimed at halting cultural transmission between generations, death by disease and outright massacre. In many parts of the world, the effects of colonisation were massive in scale and still impact the lives of groups and individuals today. One such group, the Ngadjuri of South Australia, were largely removed from their Country by the late 1800s through the European colonisation of their traditional lands. The community is now in the process of returning to Country and building a modern Ngadjuri Nation. This project is a facet of this nation-building process.

This research includes a basic landscape study, conducted with site information for Ngadjuri Country obtained from the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division (AARD), and community-based field trips. With this information, a GIS database was created which the author has managed on behalf on the community since 2008. The landscape analysis has highlighted the location of documented sites in relation to several variables, including general environment, access to water, vegetation and ground slope, as well as identifying site distribution based on site type. This work adds to the bodies of literature regarding landscape archaeology and Indigenous nation-building, as well as contributing to studies of Indigenous land-use on the Australian continent. The research has found that assisting a community to acquire control of information regarding archaeological sites and past landscape use on their Country can aid in several facets of Indigenous nation building which include, but are not limited to, the transmission of cultural knowledge, heritage management, self-determination, and the assertion and authentication of cultural identity within broader society.

Lower, K.
Thesis Abstract 'Indigenous Nation-Building and Landscape Archaeology on Ngadjuri Country'
Dec 2013
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Thesis Abstracts
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