Wurdi Youang : re-thinking myths about landscape and indigenous science
Jones, David 2012, Wurdi Youang : re-thinking myths about landscape and indigenous science, in SAHANZ 2012 : Fabulation : myth, nature, heritage. Proceedings of the 29th Society of Architectural Historians Australia & New Zealand Conference, SAHANZ, Launceston, Tas., pp. 457-477.
SAHANZ 2012 : Fabulation : myth, nature, heritage. Proceedings of the 29th Society of Architectural Historians Australia & New Zealand Conference
King, Stuart Chatterjee, Anuradha Loo, Stephen
Society of Architectural Historians Australia & New Zealand. Conference
Place of publication
Despite recent political attempts to re-write the terra nullius myth for Australia, additional Indigenous sub-myth layers about landscape stewardship and cultural knowledge have been substantially overlooked. Pre-contact Indigenous scientific knowledge, landscape architecture strategies, and land stewardship histories and practices have received little legitimate credibility or academic discourse in this rewriting. One sub-myth is that Indigenous Australians have no astronomical scientific expertise and knowledge and that there is no physical evidence of this expertise. Thus, Indigenous Australians possess no ability to translate Dreaming story to astrological configuration, nor explore astronomy. Such is increasingly becoming a myth as it belies a suite of landscape architectural installations and cosmological narratives now being documented and researched. This paper addresses this myth by bringing forth a review of Indigenous cosmological knowledge for south-eastern Australia, with a substantive discussion about archaeo-astronomical evidence. The paper explains the cultural importance of the Wurdi Youang landscape installation for the Wathaurong community, and its role in Australian landscape architectural histories and practice.
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Field of Research
120107 Landscape Architecture
Socio Economic Objective
950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage