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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: February 2020

16 - The Spread of Pama-Nyungan in Australia

from Part IV - New Guinea and Australia


In contrast to all the other continents discussed in this volume, Australia’s hunter-gatherers did not share, or contend for, the land with indigenous cultivators or pastoralists. The foraging economy reigned exclusively throughout the history of human habitation until the catastrophic events of conquest and settlement by the British caused its collapse within the last 200 years. Certainly there were differences between the way the indigenous people of Australia gained a living from the land in different regions, from more to less mobile, which will enter the picture as we focus our discussion here.

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