The biggest estate on earth : how Aborigines made Australia / Bill Gammage.

By: Gammage, Bill, 1942- [author..]
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Crows Nest, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin, 2012Copyright date: ©2011Description: xxiii, 434 pages : colour illustrations, maps ; 25 cmContent type: still image | cartographic image | text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781743311325 (pbk.)Subject(s): Human ecology -- Australia | Land settlement -- Australia -- History | Aboriginal Australians -- History | Land use -- Australia -- Management -- History | Traditional ecological knowledge -- Australia | Natural resources -- Australia -- Management -- History | Aboriginal Australians -- Agriculture -- History | Australia -- HistoryDDC classification: 305.89915 Online Resources: E-Resource
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Includes bibliographical references (pages 379-415) and index.

Australia in 1788 Introduction - The Australian estate - 1. Curious landscapes - 2. Canvas of a continent Why was Aboriginal land management possible? - 3. The nature of Australia - 4. Heaven on earth - 5. Country How was land managed? - 6. The closest ally - 7. Associations - 8. Templates - 9. A capital tour - 10. Farms without fences Invasion - 11. Becoming Australian - Appendix 1: Science, history and landscape - Appendix 2: Current botanical names for plants named with capitals in the text.

"Across Australia, early Europeans commented again and again that the land looked like a park. With extensive grassy patches and pathways, open woodlands and abundant wildlife, it evoked a country estate in England. Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than we have ever realised. For over a decade he has examined written and visual records of the Australian landscape. He has uncovered an extraordinarily complex system of land management using fire, the life cycles of native plants, and the natural flow of water to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. We know Aboriginal people spent far less time and effort than Europeans in securing food and shelter ... . With details of land-management strategies from around Australia, The biggest estate on earth rewrites the history of this continent, with huge implications for us today."--Dust cover.

Prime Minister's Literary Awards: Prize for Australian History, 2012.

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