Thesis abstract ‘Wangala Time, Wangala Law: Hunter-Gatherer Settlement Patterns in a Sub-Humid to Semi-Arid Environment’

02nd January 2014

Michael Pickering

PhD, Department of Archaeology, La Trobe University, Bundoora, August 1997

This thesis, firstly, describes the traditional settlement patterns of the (Garawa people of northern Australia. Secondly, it develops methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of hunter-gatherer settlement patterns, placing particular emphasis on the importance of discriminating between microscale phenomena (short-term. localised, individual) and macroscale phenomena (long-term, regional, population). Thirdly, it identifies the cultural and non-cultural variables that structured long-term regional settlement patterns of a hunter-gatherer population in a particular environment. This is achieved through a case study providing an analysis of the cultural and environmental factors that structured the traditional settlement patterns of the Garawa. The physical, social, subsistence and settlement landscapes of the Garawa are defined and discussed. It is demonstrated that social factors had little impact on the macroscale pattern of Garawa settlement. Instead settlement patterns clearly reflected the articulation of the subsistence and settlement landscapes with the physical landscape.

It is argued that macroscale hunter-gatherer settlement patterns were organised in response to macrogeographic environmental structures. The level of correspondence in this relationship is such that it may be argued that similar environments, separated in space and time, would structure settlement patterns in similar ways, regardless of variation in social and/or religious organisation. The use of macroscale settlement models, developed through judicious analysis of ethnographic data, is shown to be a legitimate means of approaching the interpretation of the regional archaeological record. Identification of the processes and variables that structured ethnographically documented macroscale hunter-gatherer settlement patterns will facilitate the identification of the processes and variables that structured prehistoric hunter-gatherer settlement patterns.

Pickering, M.
Thesis abstract 'Wangala Time, Wangala Law: Hunter-Gatherer Settlement Patterns in a Sub-Humid to Semi-Arid Environment'
June 1999
48
55–56
Thesis Abstracts
You must be a member to download the attachment ( Login / Sign up )