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Bayini, Macassans, Balanda, and Bininj : defining the Indigenous past of Arnhem land through culture contact [article]

Daryl Lloyd Wesley, University, The Australian National, University, The Australian National
This study has set out to investigate unresolved issues regarding the chronology, nature, and subsequent impacts from culture contacts between South East Asian maritime communities, Europeans, and northern Australian Indigenous populations. These issues include the question of whether there is archaeological evidence for pre-Macassan visitation in north western Arnhem Land. Therefore an important aim included assessing whether it is possible to measure the level of interaction and impact the
more » ... n and impact the trepang industry and later European economies had on local Indigenous communities through the investigation of the archaeological record from the Wellington Ranges, coastal region of Anuru Bay, and South Goulburn Island. Within the scope of this aim, it was important to re-assess and radiocarbon date the well-known Malara (Anuru Bay A) trepang processing site in order to gain a greater understanding of the intensity and frequency of Macassan (and possibly pre-Macassan) occupation, trepang processing, and contact with Aboriginal people. The results of this study support a longer timeframe of culture contact occurring from the early to mid-17th Century with a proliferation in the Macassan trepang processing industry from the mid-1700s.The study also aimed to investigate the complexity of change in Indigenous society during the culture contact period through documentation and analysis of the Indigenous archaeological record (material culture, rock art assemblages) at the Malarrak, Djulirri, and Maliwawa rockshelter complexes in the Wellington Range. This involved an examination of the spatial distribution of Indigenous rock art and archaeological sites to assess changes in residential mobility (both local and regional), resource utilisation, and impacts on Indigenous customary trade and exchange. A particular focus of this study analysed changes in Indigenous rock art production within western Arnhem Land that occurred during the culture contact period. This archaeological evidence has also been evaluated in conjunction with his [...]
doi:10.25911/5c6e7069d3b9e fatcat:tn2wy2q2uzcpdjg6gxwt77l3pa