Revisiting an old hypothesis: Aboriginal plant exploitation during the Holocene in West Arnhem Land
A project undertaken at the School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University, and supervised by Tim Denham and Denis Shine
Jones and Meehan (1989) proposed that horticultural experimentation may have occurred in northern Australia during the Holocene. Although Aboriginal lifeways are consistently interpreted as having been 'hunter-gatherer' (eg, Lourandos 1997), reassessments of botanical evidence suggest that some food plants, including the greater yam (Dioscorea alata), were introduced and planted in northern Australia in the past (Denham et al. 2009). At present, the long-term history of these introductions are poorly understood, as are the changing cultural and environmental contexts of Aboriginal plant exploitation during the Holocene.
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