Theorising about northeast Queensland prehistory
Rainforests are distributed unevenly throughout eastern Australia, but only in one portion of the tropics between Cairns and Cardwell has a distinct Aboriginal "culture area" been recognised (Peterson 1976). The Aborigines of this area have attracted a fair amount of attention from various researchers in physical anthropology, linguistics and material culture. However, little archaeological research has been undertaken in the region. Some sites have been excavated in and near the rainforest district (Wright 1971, Brayshaw 1977, Campbell 1979, 1982a, 1982b) but so far archaeological deposits older than 2,000 years have not been recorded, and little progress has been made towards a regional prehistory. In this paper I outline various theories about the prehistory of the rainforests and provide a framework for future archaeological research.
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