Complex hunter-gatherers: a view from Australia

  title={Complex hunter-gatherers: a view from Australia},
  author={Elizabeth Williams},
  pages={310 - 321}
  • E. Williams
  • Published 1 July 1987
  • Political Science
  • Antiquity
One of the livelier issues in world prehistory on which there is a distinctive view from Australia and Sahul is the variety of pathways to intensification and a social complexity, not necessarily following expectations that derive from precedents in the Zagros or the Mayan forests. This may be more than a function of different ecologies or potential domesticates, for this paper, developing evidence from Victoria already known from Harry Lourandos's work, Sees the crucial impulses as more social… 
Constructing ‘Hunter-gatherers’, Constructing ‘Prehistory’: Australia and New Guinea
Abstract This paper considers the ways ‘hunter-gatherers’ have been constructed in Australian archaeology, how these have changed through time, and why a rather different approach has been taken in
Hunter-gatherer cultural dynamics: Long- and short-term trends in Australian prehistory
Recent evidence indicates that a wide range of environmental sectors of Greater Australia had been peopled between ca. 30,000 and ca. 40,000 B.P. Differences in regional Pleistocene patterns of
The archaeology of complex hunter-gatherers
Archaeologists' reconstructions of paths to complexity have all too often excluded complex hunter-gatherers. However, recent theoretical contributions and long-term field research programs in several
Constraints on the Development of Enduring Inequalities in Late Holocene Australia
  • Ian Keen
  • Sociology
    Current Anthropology
  • 2006
Conditions in Late Holocene Australia, including variable and unpredictable environments, reliance on a wide array of food resources, relatively low population densities, some degree of mobility, and
Prehistoric aboriginal impacts on Australian vegetation: an assessment of the evidence
SUMMARY To what extent were Australian vegetation patterns in 1788 a product of human activity? Pollen and charcoal evidence which addresses this question is reviewed. I discuss the nature of the
The great 'Intensification Debate': Its history and place in Australian archaeology
The 'Intensification Debate' of the 1980s was a critical period in the investigation of Australian prehistory. It focused attention and research upon questions of change and dynamics within
Problems in constructing a prehistoric regional sequence: Holocene southeast Australia
Abstract Chronological sequences are as much a product of overall concepts as of data or techniques of dating. This is illustrated by a critical assessment of the foundations of a prehistoric
Challenging intensification: human—environment interactions in the Holocene geoarchaeological record from western New South Wales, Australia
An intensification theory was developed in Australian archaeology in the early 1980s from a desire to make the study of Australian hunter-gatherers closer to theoretical developments in
Intensified fishery production at Moreton Bay, southeast Queensland, in the late Holocene
As the great antiquity of human settlement in Australia becomes clear, so does the distinctive character of human adaptation in the continent. In particular, the Holocene transformation of the


Emergent Tribal Formations in the American Midcontinent
Archaic societies in the American midcontinent tend to be viewed as “archetypal” egalitarian, subsistence-oriented, gatherer–hunters. The strong techno-environmental orientation of most recent
The European Mesolithic
This brief review is intended to acquaint the reader with recent research and thought on the European Mesolithic. The period is characterized by hunter-gatherer adaptations between the close of the
Change or stability?: Hydraulics, hunter‐gatherers and population in temperate Australia
Evidence is provided to suggest that increases in population density in certain ecological zones have occurred due to changes in energy harnessing methods, and comparison between the population densities of the high density Australian hunter‐gatherers and some New Guinea shifting agriculturalists reveals only marginal differences, suggesting that comparable levels of energy harnessed have been achieved by different means.
The deer hunters: Star Carr reconsidered
Abstract Star Carr, the Mesolithic site excavated thirty years ago, has been considered a classic example of a winter season base camp until recently reinterpreted as a specialized industrial locale.
Archaeological evidence for population change in the middle to late Holocene in southeastern Australia
numbers of people on a site at a particular time, while others have been used more generally in an examination of relative shifts in population density. In this paper I will present a brief review
Estimation of prehistoric populations of archaeological sites in southwestern Victoria: some problems
This paper discusses whether it is possible to estimate the number of people who, in the past, would have occupied an archaeological site at any one time. The case study used here consists of a
Mound People of Western Victoria: A Preliminary Statement, The
The mound sites (myrn-yong, etc.) of Western Victoria have often been commented upon, but they have never been examined in detail. This paper is an interim report of an on-going research project
The Australian Aborigines
IN the latest number of the Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales (vol. xxiii. part 2) there are two remarkably interesting articles on the Australian aborigines. One of