Date & time
This seminar presents an update of the archaeological and environmental histories of the southeastern Australian ‘high country’ from the terminal Pleistocene to the recent past. Combining archaeological excavations of rock shelter sites with environmental reconstructions from adjacent peatlands in the Namadgi Ranges, the project aims to reinvigorate discussion on when and how Aboriginal people were active in the mountains, and whether human activity was intrinsically linked to the environmental and landscape histories of the region. New AMS radiocarbon dates, sediment geochemistry, quantitative stone artefact analyses and other proxies contribute to characterising several broad phases of occupation and associated technological patterns in the high country and around its margins. A regional environmental context – informed by fire event reconstructions, stratigraphic clues in peat sediments, geochemical signatures of landscape productivity and instability, and a detailed faunal record from Wee Jasper – provides a backdrop of changing climates and landscape processes to which Aboriginal people adapted and responded over thousands of years.