Testing the Dark Emu hypothesis (2022–2025)

How we define traditional Aboriginal food production and settlement systems is a key challenge to Australian archaeology in light of the far reaching success of Bruce Pascoe's popular book Dark Emu. This project aims to undertake a new trans-disciplinary investigation, the first incorporating archaeological science, plant genetics and palynology through the lens of Niche Construction Theory to generate new empirical data in order to determine how we best define Aboriginal socio-economic systems. Investigating the intricacies of Mithaka economy and possible 'village sites' with a focus on the idea of plant domestication, the project will identify how we best define these sophisticated cultural and economic systems.
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Projects
Funded by:
Australian Research Council