Deep Time Dreaming: A Critical Review
In 2017, Nature, the international journal of science, published research that pushed the dawn of human occupation in Australia even further into deep time: an estimated 65,000 years ago (Clarkson et al. 2017). Inevitably, questions were posed about how this discovery might affect not only our understanding of Australia’s Indigenous past, but also the global story of human evolution. Billy Griffiths’ 2018 book, Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia, chronicles developments in the field of Aboriginal archaeology from the mid-twentieth century to the current day, and is therefore well-situated to address the possible implications of these new findings. Deep Time Dreaming is an invaluable read due to the way it demonstrates that the study of deep time is not an isolatable pursuit; rather, archaeology is humanistic and often profoundly political, carrying consequences for how we identify and interact with the present.
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