Communal hunting by Aboriginal Australians: Archaeological and ethnographic evidence

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There is no archaeological evidence that Australian Aboriginal people killed large mammals in mass numbers. This may reflect a lack of preservation, sampling problems or lack of recognition of such events in closed sites. However there is ethnohistoric information that Aboriginal people communally caught large mammals and other animals. Such communal hunts indicate social investments in both labour organisation and associated technology, such as traps and nets. This investment was paid off by reliable and efficient collection of food supplies that, at some times of the year, allowed large gatherings of people for ceremonial purposes. Archaeological evidence of mass kills of fish in particular, point to the antiquity of some of these communal practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Archaeology of Large-Scale Manipulation of Prey
Subtitle of host publicationThe Economic and Social Dynamics of Mass Hunting
EditorsKristen Carlson, Leland C. Bement
Place of PublicationLouisville, Colorado
PublisherUniversity Press of Colorado
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781607326823
ISBN (Print)9781607326816
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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