Water and water technologies in Indigenous Australia

Author: Jaya Foley

Foley, Jaya, 2020 Water and water technologies in Indigenous Australia, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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This thesis is a review of the ethnographic and historic literature regarding water technologies, knowledge and water sources used and accessed in the arid interior of Australia with the purpose to gain a better understanding of how Aboriginal people managed to locate and transport water in desert regions.

The methodology is an integrated approach that has culminated references, from ethnographic and historical literature, regarding traditional Aborginal ways of procuring, locating and transporting water from historical and ethnographic records, combined with a desktop survey of Aboriginal water technologies held at Queensland Museum, South Australian Museum and the Western Australian Museum. It has also attempted to used ethnoarchaeological theory to understand if water technologies are meaningful in regards to Pleistocene refugia models and human behavioural variability in desert environments during the Last Glacial Maximum.The results of this research has produced a significant new data set reflects the wide variety of water resources avaible to Aborginal people in historical times. These include Native wells, dams, mound springs, root water, skin water bags, coolamons, baskets and buckets.

Keywords: water technologies

Subject: Archaeology thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2020
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Dr Alice Gorman