Terra Australis (1971 - Present)

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Terra Australis reports the results of archaeological research, in the main of staff and students of the Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University. Its region is the lands south and ea t of Asia , though mainly Aus tralia, New Guinea and Island Melanesia , that were terra australis incognita to generations of European geographers before Cook and are largely so to prehistorians today. Its subject is the settlement f the diverse environments in this isolated quarter of the globe by peoples who have maintained their di crete and traditional ways of life into the recent recorded r remembered past and at times into the observable present .

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  • ItemOpen Access
    The Prehistory of Buka : a stepping stone island in the northern Solomons
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Archaeology and Natural History, The Australian National University., 2001) Wickler, Stephen; Golson, Jack
  • ItemOpen Access
    An archaeology of West Polynesian prehistory
    (Canberra, ACT : Pandanus Books, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 2002) Smith, Anita Jane
    There can be little doubt on linguistic evidence that East Polynesia was first settled from West Polynesia. The author argues, however, that the related archaeological record has been made to fit with this dominant interpretative paradigm. Her objective assessment of the material evidence contradicts the popularly held view.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Phytolith and starch research in the Australian-Pacific-Asian regions : the state of the art : papers from a conference held at the ANU, August 2001, Canberra, Australia
    (Canberra, ACT : Pandanus Books, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 2003) State of the Art in Phytolith and Starch Research in the Australian-Pacific-Asian Regions Conference; Golson, Jack; Hart, Diane M.; Wallis, Lynley A.
    The decision to produce this volume of terra australis arose during a workshop held at the conclusion of a conference hosted by the Centre for Archaeological Research at The Australian National University in the nation's capital, Canberra, in August 2001. The conference (The state of the art in phytolith and starch research in the Australian-Pacific-Asian regions) attracted participants from China, Belgium, the United States of America, Argentina, New Zealand and, of course, Australia. The volume brings together many of the papers and posters presented at the conference, as well as invited papers from Tracey Lu and Matiu Prebble, who were unfortunately unable to present papers at the Canberra conference. An introductory paper outlining the history of phytolith researchers in Australia sets the scene, demonstrating the steady emergence of three primary local centres of excellence in phytolith research (Macquarie University, Southern Cross University and The Australian National University). The next two sections deal with techniques and taphonomy; demonstrating the ingenuity of researchers in adapting procedures, establishing the utility of phytoliths and starch and the problems involved in analysing data. It is usually the application of phytolith and starch analyses to varied external research questions that is of primary interest to non-specialists. It is crucial, however, that we develop a deeper understanding of the processes and techniques involved in phytolith and starch preservation and behaviours, as well as greater skill in efficiently and effectively extracting and studying such microfossils. The papers in these sections of the volume demonstrate some of the recent steps taken towards meeting such challenges. Advances of this nature in baseline research, which often seem of little value to outsiders, ultimately afford us a greater degree of confidence and sophistication in utilising phytoliths and starch in applied studies. The final selection of papers presents recent applications of phytoliths and starch to research into archaeology, palaeoenvironments and the origins of early agriculture. The final paper, contributed by Deborah Pearsall, a modern pioneer in the field who presented a keynote address at the conference, outlines current research directions and demonstrates the power of using several strands of evidence in archaeological and environmental reconstructions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Sea People : late Holocene maritime specialisation in the Whitsunday Islands, central Queensland
    (Canberra, ACT : Pandanus Books in association with the Centre for Archaeological Research and the Dept. of Archaeology and Natural History, The Australian National University., 2004) Barker, Bryce; Golson, Jack; O'Connor, Sue
    Presents the archaeological data relating to the Holocene occupation of the Whitsunday Islands region of the Central Queensland coast. This research provides details of the two oldest sites of Aboriginal occupation on the tropical east coast of Australia, as well as formulating a model of the late Holocene change for the wider region.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Lapita Interaction
    (Canberra, ACT : ANH Publications, 2000) Summerhayes, Glenn; Ambrose, William
  • ItemOpen Access
    Coobool Creek : a morphological and metrical analysis of the crania, mandibles and dentitions of a prehistoric Australian human population
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1989) Brown, Peter; Thorne, Alan; Mummery, Jeanine
    This monograph represents a continuation of the research in my PhD thesis, 'Coobool Creek: a prehistoric Australian hominid population', which was submitted to the Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University in 1982. My primary source of motivation for rewriting and expanding the original work was the absence of detailed descriptions for many of the 'classic' Australian hominid fossils. A profusion of words had been spoken, the occasional film produced, but comparatively little published. With the dearth of publications, several of these fossils have taken on mystical qualities which, at least from my own perspective, have little to do with reality. In its general form this monograph follows the original thesis. However, the reconstruction of additional materials from Coobool Creek, combined with my own altered outlook on aspects of methodology and interpretation, made rewriting sections of the primary work a priority. There is a greater reliance on graphical means of data description and much of the analyses and data are new. The sections in the thesis dealing with 'the mark of ancient Java' have been omitted. I am becoming increasingly sceptical about the osteological evidence for such a link and intend to pursue this issue in the future. In other respects the essential details of the conclusions I reached in 1 982 remain unaltered.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Archaeology in Eastern Timor, 1966-67
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1986) Glover, Ian
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Emergence of Mailu : as a central place in coastal Papuan prehistory
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1985) Irwin, Geoffrey
    This monograph is the result of the tying together of three separate strands. The first was the remarkable development on Mailu Island of a large community of specialist potters, makers of shell valuables, and sea-going traders. The second strand was the particular stage that had been reached in the archaeological exploration of coastal Papua New Guinea by the early 1970s which directed attention, wit.11 some luck as w<·ll as planning, to that part of the southcastern coast. The third was that the set of interests I took with me were, in some ways, suited to the situation I found there.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Early Tongan Prehistory : the Lapita period on Tongatapu and its relationships
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1987) Poulsen, Jens; Golson, Jack
  • ItemOpen Access
    30,000 Years of Aboriginal Occupation : Kimberley, North West Australia
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Archaeology and Natural History, The Australian National University., 1999) O'Connor, Sue
    This monograph describes the results of fieldwork carried out on the west Kimberley coast and offshore islands during two field seasons in 1984 and 1985 and the analysis and interpretation of archaeological material derived from it. Attention is focussed on four rockshelter sites, the two Widgingarri shelters on the mainland, the two others on present-day islands. Two of the sites, Koolan Shelter 2 and Widgingarri Shelter 1, have sequences dating from ea. 28,000 bp. Widgingarri Shelter 2 is undated in the lower levels but is presumed to be of a similar order of antiquity. The fourth site, High Cliffy Shelter, dates to the late Holocene, though the island itself has evidence for fleeting occupation earlier, in the immediate posttrans gressive period.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Early Man in North Queensland : art and archaeology in the Laura area
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1981) Rosenfeld, Andree; Horton, David; Winter, John; Golson, Jack
    Not until the discovery in 1896 of decorated galleries sealed behind the archaeological deposit at the site of La Mouthe in southwest France did the antiquity, indeed the authenticity, of Palaeolithic cave art in Europe begin to be accepted. The Early Man rockshelter near Laura, north Queensland , whose investigation is the subject of the present monograph, has something of the same importance for rock art studies in Australia, since excavation there in 1974 decisively demonstrated the high antiquity of rock engraving on the continent, previously argued on a number of indirect and not fully convincing lines of evidence. More than this, it became possible as a result of the investigations to begin to define an early engraving style with features widespread through the continent as well as a sequence of styles of more local significance.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Hunter Hill, Hunter Island : archaeologic al investigations of a prehistoric Tasmanian site
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1984) Bowdler, Sandra
    This volume describes one piece of research into the prehistory of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people. It recounts the excavation and analysis of one site, Cave Bay Cave, on Hunter Island, which lies just off the tip of northwest Tasmania, in Bass Strait (Fig. l ). Cave Bay Cave was the first Tasmanian archaeological site to have a f irmly dated Pleistocene antiquity (Bowdler 1 9 74b). It contains a 23,000-year-old discontinuous sequence of human occupation, thus establishing that people had penetrated to the southern extremity of the Bassian land bridge when it was exposed by eustatic lowering of the sea level during the la t glaciation. This work follows on from and builds on previous archaeological work in Tasmania, which will be briefly described.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Great Kartan Mystery
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1981) Lampert, R. J. (Ronald John), 1927-; Golson, Jack
    Survey of distinctive Kartan stone tool industry on Kangaroo Island and adjacent mainland and comparison with separate small tool industry; distribution and typology of Kartan tools related to environmental, climatic and eustatic data; late Pleistocene conditions in region compared with drier Holocene to support hypothesis that sites on Kangaroo Island postdating isolation from mainland result from declining relict population rather than reoccupation from mainland; Kartan - small tool succession placed in context of wider Australian change from core tool and scraper to small tool tradition but with unique local features resulting from regional nature of Kartan industry and isolation of Kangaroo Island during small tool time.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Coastal Southwest Tasmania : the prehistory of Louisa Bay and Maatsuyker Island.
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1984) Vanderwal, Ron; Horton, David
    Description of natural environment including geology, landforms, climate, vegetation and fauna; comparison of resources with archaeological record; excavations and results; faunal and stone artefact analysis; subsistence patterns and seasonal availability; general context of Tasmania prehistory; Appendix by J. Kamminga separately annotated.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Alligator Rivers : prehistory and ecology in Western Arnhem Land
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1982) Schrire, Carmel; Golson, Jack
    This monograph represents the somewhat uneasy marriage of two widely separated pieces of research. The bulk of the work, including all the fieldwork, was done when from 1964 to 1967 I was a graduate student in the Prehistory section of the then Department of An thropology and Sociology of the Research School of Pacific Studies at the Australian National University. Of the PhD thesis which was then presented (C. White 1967, Plateau and plain : prehistoric investigations in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory), the present work is a major revision of interpretation and writing which was done during 1979-80, when I was a Visiting Fellow in the now independent Department of Prehistory, on leave from my job at Rutgers University in the United States. The intervening 13 years had seen both major changes in the social and ecological circumstances of my Arnhem Land research area and radical shifts in my education and my approach to questions of human adaptation and behaviour.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Recent Prehistory in Southeast Papua
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1979) Egloff, Brian; Golson, Jack
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ol Tumbuna : archaeological excavations in the Eastern Central Highlands, Papua New Guinea.
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1972) White, J. Peter (John Peter), 1937-; Golson, Jack
    The excavations reported here were carried out in 1964-5 when I was a Research Scho ar in the prehistory section of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, The Australian National University. They were presented, with other material, as a PhD dissertation in 1967. For reasons of economy some of the more detailed descriptions of artifacts and minutiae of excavation and analytical procedures have been omitted from this report, but I have tried to give sufficient information to allow other workers to reanalyse the material if desired . There are some minor differences between the data presented here and those given in the thesis and published elsewhere. They arise from a thorough rechecking of all notes and calculations prior to publication, so that this should be the most accurate account of the excavation available . Errors doubtless remain, for which I alone am responsible. All the material is now housed in The Australian Museum, Sydney.
  • ItemOpen Access
    New Guinea Stone Age Trade : the geography and ecology of traffic in the interior
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1977) Hughes, Ian; Allen, Jim
    The observations reported here were made in Papua New Guinea in 1967 and 1968 and the analysis and library research was completed in 1970. Most of the data were presented in more detail and with more caution in a PhD thesis in 1971, prepared while in the Department of Human Geography, ANU. There have been additions, especially to the section on stone, and some corrections. The tools discussed in Chapter VI are now in the Department of Prehistory, ANU.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Burrill Lake and Currarong : Coastal sites in southern New South Wales
    (Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University., 1971) Lampert, R. J. (Ronald John), 1927-; Golson, Jack
    Background to fieldwork in 1967-68, previous work; Burrill Lake site - environment, excavations, stratigraphy, palaeoecological implications of lower deposits, fauna, volumetric change through time, stone industry (distribution of stone), analysis of scrapers, typology, other implements; Currarong sites - environment, excavation, stratigraphy, stone industry, distribution of stone, scrapers, backed blades, fabricators, use polished artifacts, eloueras, others, artifacts of bone &? shell, (fish hooks), human burials, faunal remains; environment and economy - weapons &? implements, hunting methods, economic specialisation, Burrill - Currarong sequence, transition.
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    The Archaeology of the Aru Islands, Eastern Indonesia
    (Pandanus Books, 2005) O'Connor, Susan; Spriggs, Matthew; Veth, Peter M; O'Connor, Susan; Spriggs, Matthew; Veth, Peter M.
Open Access