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The survival of Aboriginal Australians through the harshest time in human history: community strength

Charles, James A and O'Brien, Lewis 2020, The survival of Aboriginal Australians through the harshest time in human history: community strength, International journal of Indigenous health, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 5-20, doi: 10.32799/ijih.v15i1.33925.

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Title The survival of Aboriginal Australians through the harshest time in human history: community strength
Author(s) Charles, James AORCID iD for Charles, James A orcid.org/0000-0002-9831-4205
O'Brien, Lewis
Journal name International journal of Indigenous health
Volume number 15
Issue number 1
Start page 5
End page 20
Total pages 15
Publisher Aboriginal Health Research Networks Secretariat
Place of publication Victoria, B.C.
Publication date 2020
ISSN 2291-9368
2291-9376
Keyword(s) Aboriginal
Australia
Survival
History
Community-Strength
Summary Abstract Introduction: Aboriginal People have inhabited the Australian continent since the beginning of time, but archaeologists and anthropologist’s state there is evidence for approx. 51,000 to 71,000 years of continual habitation. During this time, the Australian continent has experienced many environmental and climatic changes i.e. fluctuating temperatures, ice ages, fluctuating CO2 levels, extremely high dust levels, high ice volume, high winds, large scale bush fires, glacial movement, low rain fall, extreme arid conditions, limited plant growth, evaporation of fresh water lakes, and dramatic sea level fluctuations, which have contributed to mass animal extinction.Method: The skeletal remains of Aboriginal Australians were examined for evidence of bone spurring at the calcaneus, which may be indicative of fast running which would assist survival. The skull and mandible bones were examined for signs evolutional traits related to survival. Aboriginal culture, knowledge of medical treatment and traditional medicines were also investigated. Discussion: Oral story telling of factual events, past down unchanged for millennia contributed to survival. Aboriginal Australians had to seek refuge, and abandon 80% of the continent. Physical ability and athleticism was paramount to survival. There is evidence of cannibalism by many Aboriginal Australian tribes contributing to survival. The Kaurna People exhibited evolutionary facial features that would have assisted survival. Kaurna People had excellent knowledge of medicine and the capacity to heal their community members.Conclusion: The Australian continent has experienced many environmental and climatic changes over the millennia. Navigating these extremely harsh, rapidly changing conditions is an incredible story of survival of Aboriginal Australians. The findings of this investigation suggest that Aboriginal Australians survival methods were complex and multi-faceted. Although this paper could not examine every survival method, perhaps Aboriginal Peoples knowledge of flora and fauna, for nourishment and medicine, was paramount to their survival.
Language eng
DOI 10.32799/ijih.v15i1.33925
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30144366

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.