The Rising of the Seas

  • Geoffrey Blainey


The aboriginals imported botanical and zoological knowledge—practical lore about plants and animals of which the average educated Australian is now ignorant. They made stone and wooden tools for the hunting, digging or preparing of food. They almost certainly possessed a variety of skills for catching fish and many techniques of tracking and hunting animals and birds. They knew how to make fire. They probably had considerable knowledge of plants with medical properties and they probably knew how to harness certain poisons for their own use and to rid some toxic plants of poison. They must also have had impressive knowledge of how to build simple craft that could cross wide rivers and narrow seas. It is probable that they possessed all these skills before they reached Australia, and that in their long history in this land they increased some skills and allowed others to vanish.


Southern Indian Ocean Coastal Land Wide River Toxic Plant Stone Artifact 
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  1. 84.
    The relative antiquity of Austn. cremation and art: D. J. Mulvaney, ‘Discovering Man’s Place in Nature’, Aust. Acad. Humanities, 1971, p. 55.Google Scholar
  2. 84.
    Koonalda Cave: R. V. S. Wright ed., Archaeology of the Gallus Site, Koonalda Cave, (Canberra, 1971).Google Scholar
  3. 87.
    Hunter Island: Sandra Bowdler, ‘An Account of a Geological Reconnaissance of Hunter’s Isles’, Q. Vic. Mus., 1974, No. 54, pp. 1–22.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1975

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  • Geoffrey Blainey

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