The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia
Reveals the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people in presettlement Australia 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. Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than most people have ever realized. For more than a decade, he has examined written and visual records of the Australian landscape. He has uncovered an extraordinarily complex system of land management using fire, the life cycles of native plants, and the natural flow of water to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. Aboriginal people spent far less time and effort than Europeans in securing food and shelter, and this book reveals how. Once Aboriginal people were no longer able to tend their country, it became overgrown and vulnerable to the hugely damaging bushfires Australians now experience. With details of land-management strategies from around Australia, this book rewrites the history of the continent, with huge implications for today.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Polaris- - LibraryThing
Bill Gammage's book was kindly leant to me by a new found friend while I was away in Western Australia. Unfortunately, owing to the many wonderful distractions one encounters during a family reunion ... Read full review
Why was Aboriginal land management possible?
How was land managed?
Appendix 1 Science history and landscape
Appendix 2 Current botanical names for plants named with capitals in the text
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Aborigines acacia Adelaide Alfred Howitt Allan Cunningham animals Arnhem Land Australia banks bark beautiful belts brush burning burnt bush bushfires camp Canberra clear clumps coast Compare pictures covered creek Cunningham Curr dense drought east edge eucalypts Europeans Eyre vol farm Fensham fire fish flats forest Gammage grass grassland green ground grow Hallam hills Hoddle HrNSW hunting inland kangaroo Kangaroo Grass kilometres Lake land landscape Latz Leichhardt lignotubers mallee metres miles Mitchell Mountain Mulga natives newcomers ofthe open forest oxley park park-like patches pine places plants Queensland rain rainforest rich ridges river robinson scrub season seed sheoak shrubs slopes soil songline South Wales species Spinifex SrNSW Sturt summer swamp Sydney Tasmania templates thick thinly timber totem trees Uluru valley vegetation wallaby wattle wooded wrote yams