Australia, the continent, wasn’t always Australia as we know it today. Was settlement an accident, or something more deliberately planned? By which route – or routes – was the continent first settled, and when?
In just a matter of decades, as more and more sites of archaeological interest have been uncovered, scientists have worked to answer Australia’s ancient migration questions.
Research into the subject published in recent years has been led by Professor Corey Bradshaw, an ecologist from Flinders University. He’s an ecologist by training – not an archaeologist – but applying techniques from his work studying biological mechanisms, he set about using complex mathematics to model complex human systems. These large stochastic models give scientists a tool to predict outcomes while accounting for a myriad of random variations over time.
“It’s a butterfly effect kind of idea: if you do this, what happens down the track?” he says.
This cross-disciplinary research brought together a mix of geomorphologists, climatologists and archaeologists to review a range of data on ancient migration to Sahul to crunch the probable routes that people arrived on the continent.
This lecture will be preceded by a short presentation from Dr Carmel Sutcliffe, one of the Society's recent recipients of the John Lewis Prize for Excellence in Doctoral Research in Geography, on her thesis “A phenomenology of place for Fakulteta: the lived experiences of Bulgarian Roma residents.”
Image Design: Marc Blazewicz from supplied image.
16 November 2023
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