Landscapes of memory: Living heritage and the Gummingurru cultural landscape, south east Queensland

01st June 2012

Cultural heritage practice reveals how people turn physical spaces into meaningful places through engagement with sites and landscapes as a result of daily activities, beliefs and values. Heritage management discourse recognises the multiplicities of meaning created by different individuals and communities at different times within a particular landscape. I use a cultural heritage methodology to identify the cultural landscape of the ceremonial stone arrangement site of Gummingurru, southeast Queensland. Gummingurru is managed and interpreted as a living heritage place that exists as both a tangible set of sites in a landscape and a range of intangible elements that include history, memory and current connections to country. Using a collaborative approach that enables the incorporation of archaeological places and oral traditions in my survey methods, I detail the tangible and intangible elements that were identified during a survey of the adjacent, local and wider landscape of the Gummingurru stone arrangement site during fieldwork undertaken as part of the AIATSIS funded Gummingurru Mapping Project in 2008. I present the archaeological findings and associated memories and stories as a ‘memoryscape’ of individual and community experience through time. I conclude that the incorporation of memory in cultural heritage practice provides considerable potential for the interpretation and management of heritage places and landscapes through offering a nuanced, dynamic and rich account of landscape that is seen as being more than a collection of physical attributes and measurable artefacts.

Jane Lavers
Landscapes of memory: Living heritage and the Gummingurru cultural landscape, south east Queensland
June 2012
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Thesis Abstracts
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