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Thread: Story of the peoples of Australia

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    Story of the peoples of Australia

    The title of the thread is the name of a new book.
    Would it surprise you that (scientifically based) Australian aboriginies were the first bread bakers in the history of mankind using solar ovens?
    And that they invented aquaculture and agriculture 42 thousand years ago.

    That may not mean much to anyone except for the fact that history lessons in schools have always portrayed Aboriginies as a bedrabbled nomadic cave dwelling lot.
    Well it seems they werent nomadic at all but established the first form of property ownership ......moving between tribal properties ....... just like cars...... or anyone else who summers in Spain or Bali as the seasons dictate. They were as nomadic as anyone walking around their own neighbourhood looking for a cheaper grocery store.
    They also had 'signage' directional as well as cautionary.


    I find this quite amazing considering what i was taught at school about them.

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    Re: Story of the peoples of Australia

    It's the same with the peoples of the americas - If you consider the impact just their agriculture had on our daily lives yet most people are unaware of the connection. When any attempt is made to teach children about it or the effect slavery had you always get the political correctness of such things condemned by the loony right. Except the loony right has now become mainstream and is in government.

    I'm not sayinmg the imperial powers' descendants should apologise or pay reparations but we should be aware of our own past and not pretend it was all glorious.

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    Re: Story of the peoples of Australia

    You're talking to a daughter of convict stock. You aint telling me nothin. From British farmers/tradesmen/noblemen......to ready hand slave. I like honest historians.

    At least the pilgrims listened to the agricultural side of Indians . The British here didnt. Well not officially anyway, unless its hidden in the diaries in some dark receptegal of a mueseum........ i can picture the aboriginals looking on confused watching people with fishing rods only metres away from a fish trap..

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    Re: Story of the peoples of Australia

    I, too, am descended from Convict Stock. Although the name James Brine may not be that well known over here, I have learned that he is considered a bit of a folk hero over in Oz.

    James Brine (from whom I am a direct descendant) was one of the Tolpuddle Martyrs - the very first Trade Union. I guess Socialism is in my blood.

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    Re: Story of the peoples of Australia

    I think I am a bit surprised to find that the Aborigines were the first bread bakers. I'd have guessed India, myself, as the first place it might have happened. edit: If not Africa, thinking about it.

    I only found out quite recently that archaeology and I think genetic studies now suggest that the route of the first successful human migration out of Africa (successful in that we are all descended from them afaik) travelled East across to India, then through SE Asia, down the peninsula and modern archipelago which was back then all dry land because the very serious Ice Age meant a huuuuuge amount of water was locked up in the ice and then walked to Australia. Apparently our ancestors then expanded north up through China and across to America via Alaska in another, less serious, Ice Age and also westward into Mongolia, Russia and only then into Europe from the East and South East.

    Since the seas rose and Australia became separate after that first migration, the Aborigines are, I think it was claimed, directly descended from that first wave of migrants who must have been a pretty resourceful bunch to BE the first successful migrants. There were earlier waves of migrants who made it out of Africa - they've found traces in the Middle East, I gather - but apparently they all died out (climate change can be a killer and isn't always caused by humans...). In other areas of the world human populations flourished, died out, vacant areas were colonised and recolonized, populations grew apart then mixed again but the Aborigines remained a single viable population that flourished and remained unbroken in isolation down to the present. I think that's an amazing and rather wonderful thing.

    I am rather surprised that iirc there were NO seaborne arrivals in Australia after it became separate, given the epic voyages made by the Polynesians. Or did prevailing winds and currents always push them east? Do you know anything about that?
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    Re: Story of the peoples of Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Clodhopper View Post
    I think I am a bit surprised to find that the Aborigines were the first bread bakers. I'd have guessed India, myself, as the first place it might have happened. edit: If not Africa, thinking about it.

    I only found out quite recently that archaeology and I think genetic studies now suggest that the route of the first successful human migration out of Africa (successful in that we are all descended from them afaik) travelled East across to India, then through SE Asia, down the peninsula and modern archipelago which was back then all dry land because the very serious Ice Age meant a huuuuuge amount of water was locked up in the ice and then walked to Australia. Apparently our ancestors then expanded north up through China and across to America via Alaska in another, less serious, Ice Age and also westward into Mongolia, Russia and only then into Europe from the East and South East.

    Since the seas rose and Australia became separate after that first migration, the Aborigines are, I think it was claimed, directly descended from that first wave of migrants who must have been a pretty resourceful bunch to BE the first successful migrants. There were earlier waves of migrants who made it out of Africa - they've found traces in the Middle East, I gather - but apparently they all died out (climate change can be a killer and isn't always caused by humans...). In other areas of the world human populations flourished, died out, vacant areas were colonised and recolonized, populations grew apart then mixed again but the Aborigines remained a single viable population that flourished and remained unbroken in isolation down to the present. I think that's an amazing and rather wonderful thing.

    I am rather surprised that iirc there were NO seaborne arrivals in Australia after it became separate, given the epic voyages made by the Polynesians. Or did prevailing winds and currents always push them east? Do you know anything about that?
    The prevailing winds, and surface ocean currents do not look like they would make an eastbound voyage from Australia to South America very easy.
    If they went south they could ride currents along the Antarctic region to what is now Southern Chile. That would be a long and miserable voyage without power and heat.
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    Re: Story of the peoples of Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by magentaflame View Post
    I find this quite amazing considering what i was taught at school about them.
    I think perhaps you're lumping a lot of different behavior under a single label. There were hundreds of Aboriginal Australian tribes before the first fleet arrived and they displayed many ways of life, from settled to nomadic. I'm not sure any ever domesticated a crop though, and "bread" tends to imply the domestication of corn or grain. Maybe there's a web page you could show us about it.

    There's utter cultural denial on their part that they themselves ever "arrived". One consequence of that denial is that their ancestors' wholesale extinction of those species which had evolved independently in Australia is also denied, along with their ancestors' continent-wide environmental devastation. What European settlers have done to Australian habitats, by contrast, is minimal. The Australian Aboriginal culture has far more to atone for than the European.

    The other oddity I find in your thinking is that the genocide was in some way a British thing rather than a settler thing. The human inhabitants of Tasmania weren't destroyed by military action, they were killed by farmers whose ancestors were primarily colonists or ex-convicts, either through the introduction of European diseases or the rather more blatant use of firearms and enslavement. The same applies even more when you look at the mainland. The vast majority of the people who destroyed Australian Aboriginal culture didn't speak Oxford Received, they spoke Strine and they farmed or mined or traded, and most of it happened within the last hundred years.
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    Re: Story of the peoples of Australia

    Don't know enough about the Aborigines to comment much, though I seem to remember that some northern tribes had a legend that their ultimate mother had come from the north. Could be wrong about that.

    But what I'm pretty sure of is that the Australian continental plate is hurtling north at an immense speed, something like 5cm a year, and this has led to well, not so much climate change as Australia moving through climatic zones, which put immense pressure on some species and would likely have led to their extinction anyway. If that's the case the Aborigines probably assisted the process but were not the ultimate cause. I also find it hard to blame them for killing creatures that hunted them.

    It's a tricky question, who we blame for the appalling behaviour of most settlers from the British Isles, voluntary and involuntary, in America as well as Australia and other places too. Simply put, these people were often oppressed at home and promptly oppressed others when they got the chance, usually much worse. We're all quite happy to celebrate and own their achievements, but their dark side is an orphan.

    I think we have to say humans can be bloody unpleasant when they let themselves be - all of us. And we should face it, because without facing it we can never overcome it. So I think we should say, Yeah, those were our people who went out there and behaved like that. But the Aussies and Yanks (and Canucks) should say, They were us, too.
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    Re: Story of the peoples of Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Clodhopper View Post
    But what I'm pretty sure of is that the Australian continental plate is hurtling north at an immense speed, something like 5cm a year, and this has led to well, not so much climate change as Australia moving through climatic zones, which put immense pressure on some species and would likely have led to their extinction anyway. If that's the case the Aborigines probably assisted the process but were not the ultimate cause. I also find it hard to blame them for killing creatures that hunted them.
    A sense of timescale helps. The Australian megafaunal catastrophe took place between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago and coincided with the fire-razing of the continent by the newly-arrived Homo Sapiens. During that 20,000 year period, the continent drifted one kilometer northward. The rate of drift is 7km per 100,000 years.

    The extinction event doesn't coincide with any global climate shift of which I'm aware - perhaps you could name what I should look for.

    It does, however, coincide with the arrival of Homo Sapiens.

    So do the North and South American megafaunal extinction events, 20,000 years later.

    The trail of humans across Eurasia defines the sudden extinction of the mammoth, from the arctic circle down to those cute little contemporary hobbit people on Flores genociding the indigenous dwarf mammoths 10,000 years ago.

    The only scientific community in denial about what caused the Australian megafaunal extinction event is Australian academics trying hard not to point fingers at the Australian Aboriginal invasion. Conflicting with Australian Aboriginal origin myths is apparently taboo.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austra...lian_megafauna lists the species which went extinct during that period. I can see possibly three which might have posed a threat to a single armed human if they met without backup. What proportion of that list do you think hunted humans.
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    Re: Story of the peoples of Australia

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    You've jogged my memory a bit - I think it was a programme about those extinctions suggesting that humans might not have been quite the devastators they seem to have been and that I've certainly argued they were, in the past. On here iirc, talking about the Clovis spear tip.

    I didn't know the timescale of the extinction event in Aus at all, so it's interesting to see. 20,000 years is a heck of a long time in human terms.
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