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The Archaeology of Australia's Deserts
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Table of Contents

1. The archaeology of deserts: Australia in context; 2. Deserts past: a history of ideas; 3. The empty desert: inland environments prior to people; 4. Foundations: moving into the deserts; 5. Islands in the interior: last glacial aridity and its aftermath; 6. The 'desert culture' revisited: assembling a cultural system; 7. Rock art and place: evolution of an inscribed landscape; 8. The chain of connection: trade and exchange across the interior; 9. The last millennium: archaeology and the classic ethnographies.

Promotional Information

This is the first book-length study of the archaeology of Australia's deserts, exploring the cultural and environmental history of these drylands.

About the Author

Mike Smith is the senior archaeologist at the National Museum of Australia. For more than 30 years, he has worked extensively across the Australian arid zone, piecing together the archaeology of this immense continental region of dune fields, sandy rivers, salt lakes and desert uplands. His previous appointments include field archaeologist at the Northern Territory Museum in Darwin and Alice Springs, research fellow in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University, and lecturer in archaeology for the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and of the Society of Antiquaries (London), the Australian Archaeological Association awarded him the Rhys Jones medal in 2006 for 'outstanding contributions to Australian Archaeology'. In 2010 he received the Verco medal from the Royal Society of South Australia for his research.

Reviews

'Mike Smith has produced an impressive overview of the prehistory and environmental history of Australia's vast and variable arid interior. His expert synthesis of over forty years of scholarly archaeological, scientific and related research will appeal to anyone interested in the archaeology of deserts, hunter-gatherers and Aboriginal Australia.' Antike Welt
'...a substantial undertaking ... an impressive an elegant work. Informative, comprehensive and engaging, it [is] a pleasure to read and is a worthwhile addition to the Cambridge World Archaeology series and to the bookshelf of any practising or aspiring archaeologist.' Jacqueline Tumney, Quaternary Australasia
'The Archaeology of Australia's Deserts is a masterpiece.' Ramiro Barberena, Historical Records of Australian Science
'... the most important exploration of Australia's ancient human history since John Mulvaney's The Prehistory of Australia was published forty-four years ago.' Tom Griffiths, Inside Story
"The Archaeology of Australia's Deserts is a masterpiece." Ramiro Barberena, Historical Records of Australian Science
"... the most important exploration of Australia's ancient human history since John Mulvaney's The Prehistory of Australia was published forty-four years ago." Tom Griffiths, Inside Story
"... a substantial undertaking ... an impressive an elegant work. Informative, comprehensive and engaging, it [is] a pleasure to read and is a worthwhile addition to the Cambridge World Archaeology series and to the bookshelf of any practising or aspiring archaeologist." Jacqueline Tumney, Quaternary Australasia
"Mike Smith has produced an impressive overview of the prehistory and environmental history of Australia's vast and variable arid interior. His expert synthesis of over forty years of scholarly archaeological, scientific and related research will appeal to anyone interested in the archaeology of deserts, hunter-gatherers and Aboriginal Australia." Antike Welt
"... the appeal of this well-illustrated volume supported with a current bibliography goes well beyond anthropology to include, more broadly, ecology and environmental studies. Clearly aimed at college and university audiences, archaeologist Smith's volume will find also interested readers in larger public libraries. Highly recommended." Choice

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