When a Stone Tool Is a Dingo: Country and Relatedness in Australian Aboriginal Notions of Landscape

Authored by: John J. Bradley

Handbook of Landscape Archaeology

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781598742947
eBook ISBN: 9781315427737
Adobe ISBN: 9781315427720


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Archaeology has long sought to understand the past by studying the “things” left behind by people. There are times, however, when these “things,” although no longer used, still have a significance that is beyond their utilitarian use. This chapter explores how stone tools, although no longer used by the Yanyuwa people of the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia, are still an important part of the landscape and demonstrates the connectedness of “things” to a place and space in the landscape. What is evident is that “things” such as stone tools have an important cosmological place in the landscape and important connections also to people and other living things.

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