The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia (Google eBook)
Across Australia, early Europeans commented again and again that the land looked like a park. With extensive grassy patches and pathways, open woodlands and abundant wildlife, it evoked a country estate in England. Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than we have ever realised.
For over a decade, Gammage has examined written and visual records of the Australian landscape. He has uncovered an extraordinarily complex system of land management using fire and the life cycles of native plants to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. We know Aboriginal people spent far less time and effort than Europeans in securing food and shelter, and now we know how they did it.
With details of land-management strategies from around Australia, The Biggest Estate on Earth rewrites the history of this continent, with huge implications for us today. Once Aboriginal people were no longer able to tend their country, it became overgrown and vulnerable to the hugely damaging bushfires we now experience. And what we think of as virgin bush in a national park is nothing of the kind.
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Review: The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made AustraliaUser Review - Rosemary - Goodreads
Very interesting premise and convincingly written. It became repetitive so I did not finish all of it. The repetition (from different sources) may have been necessary to make the author's case against ... Read full review
Review: The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made AustraliaUser Review - Vivian Blaxell - Goodreads
My conception of my country is fundamentally and forever changed. Read full review
Why was Aboriginal land management possible?
How was land managed?
Appendix 1 Science historyand landscape
Appendix 2 Current botanical names for plants named with capitals in the text