A post-contact Aboriginal mortuary tree from southwestern Victoria, Australia

Richards, Thomas, Bennett, Catherine M. and Webber, Harry 2012, A post-contact Aboriginal mortuary tree from southwestern Victoria, Australia, Journal of field archaeology, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 62-72, doi: 10.1179/0093469011Z.0000000005.

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Title A post-contact Aboriginal mortuary tree from southwestern Victoria, Australia
Author(s) Richards, Thomas
Bennett, Catherine M.ORCID iD for Bennett, Catherine M. orcid.org/0000-0001-9581-1612
Webber, Harry
Journal name Journal of field archaeology
Volume number 37
Issue number 1
Start page 62
End page 72
Total pages 11
Publisher Maney Publishing
Place of publication Leeds, England
Publication date 2012-03
ISSN 0093-4690
Keyword(s) Aboriginal mortuary tree
southwestern Victoria
clay pipe-stem tooth wear
Djab Wurrung
Summary Here we document the investigation of the first Australian Aboriginal mortuary tree found since the early 20th century and the first studied by archaeologists and Aboriginal traditional owners. In 2001, a landowner discovered Aboriginal skeletal remains inside a fallen, dead tree while evaluating the tree’s potential as firewood, leading to the investigation of the site. The tree was located near Moyston, in southwestern Victoria, in traditional Djab Wurrung country and held the partial skeletons of three Aboriginal individuals—two adults and a child. Clay pipe-stem wear on several teeth belonging to the two adults indicates that these remains were broadly contemporaneous secondary placements from the early post-contact period (ca. A.D. 1835–1845). Along with five additional mortuary trees within 30 km of the Moyston tree, this practice constitutes a previously unknown traditional mortuary pattern and contributes to our understanding of the complex mortuary behavior of the Aboriginal people of southwestern Victoria.
Language eng
DOI 10.1179/0093469011Z.0000000005
Field of Research 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology
Socio Economic Objective 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Maney Publishing
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30022055

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