Watching a very poignant interview with Bruce Pascoe, an indigenous Australian writer, alerted me to the fact that his most recent book, Dark Emu, which was out last year, is apparently a reconsideration of whether Aboriginal peoples were in fact solely hunter-gatherers. That is what the conventional wisdom holds, or at least held, the last time I checked. I clearly haven’t checked in a while.
Hunter-gatherer societies forage and hunt for food and do not employ agricultural methods or build permanent dwellings… But as I read these early journals, I came across repeated references to people building dams and wells, planting, irrigating and harvesting seed, preserving the surplus and storing it in houses, sheds or secure vessels…and manipulating the landscape.
I’ve only been able to find one academic review of the book online. Is it being ignored by the establishment?