Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

First Australians: Origins

  • Michael C. WestawayEmail author
  • David Lambert
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_667


Many Aboriginal people view that their ancestry is closely linked with the creation of the Australian landscape during the period they refer to as “the Dreaming.” From a scientific perspective, this is in some ways complementary to the picture from archaeology. The Australian landscape, with its diverse and changing environments during the dramatic fluctuations over the last 50,000 years, has been assumed to play a significant role in influencing and forming the diverse morphology of the modern Aboriginal people. Understanding the biological basis that underpins these diverse and changing morphologies is one of the key challenges confronting Australian palaeoanthropology.

In general terms, the picture from the archaeological record identifies that Aboriginal origins are external to Australasia and what would appear to be emerging from the global picture is that within the last 100,000 years of human evolution, several species of hominins once coexisted across the globe at...

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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Futures CentreGriffith UniversityNathanAustralia