Unfinished Business: The Lower Murray Lakes Archaeological Study within an Historical and Political Context

01st June 2008

Kelly D. Wiltshire

BArch(Hons), Department of Archaeology, FlindersUniversity, October 2006

Once the site of Australia’s first systematic excavation at Devon Downs, South Australia has seen a dynamic shift in the conduct of archaeological work in the past 20 years, from a concentration on archaeological research to a preoccupation with heritage management. This thesis explores the relationship between archaeological research and Indigenous heritage legislation by considering their political contexts and how this has influenced the practice of archaeology in South Australia. The premise of this thesis is set within the context of a case study, the Lower Murray Lakes Archaeological Study (LMLAS), conducted by archaeologist Roger Luebbers during the mid-1980s along the shores of LakeAlexandrina. This case study is considered within an historical context to examine how issues and debates within Australian archaeology influenced Luebbers’ research agenda. Additionally, this case study is used as a specific example to illustrate the outcomes of its political context. Finally, this study explores contemporary issues faced by the Ngarrindjeri Nation as a result of the context in which the LMLAS was conducted.

By retrospectively examining Aboriginal heritage protection in South Australia, with a focus on the Aboriginal and Historic Relics Preservation Act 1965, the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1979 and the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, this research contributes an in-depth written account exploring the history of Indigenous heritage legislation in South Australia, while demonstrating how a lack of government will and poor administration policies have lead to the insufficient management of Indigenous heritage.

Kelly D. Wiltshire
Unfinished Business: The Lower Murray Lakes Archaeological Study within an Historical and Political Context
June 2008
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Thesis Abstracts
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