Dingoes and Aboriginal social organisation in Holocene Australia.

Jane Balme, Sue O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Dogs are perhaps the most widespread domesticated animal and the species that forms the closest bonds with humans. Placental dogs (dingoes) appear in the Australian record in the mid to late Holocene and, at European contact just over 200 years ago, tamed dingoeswere observed to be livingwith Aboriginal people. These dingoes were used as companions, protectors and as hunting dogs. In addition, differences between women's and men's relationships with dingoes have been observed. There is evidence in the archaeological faunal record that such
relationships between people and dingoes began soon after the initial arrival of dingoes. We conclude that dingoes were an important technology for Aboriginal people and that their rapid incorporation into Aboriginal societies re-organized gender roles in economic life after the mid-Holocene in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-781
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


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