No image

Australia and the Origins of Agriculture

Rupert Gerritsen


In this work the author explores issues of the origin of agriculture in Australia such as the “failure” of agriculture to develop indigenously, and its “failure” to diffuse into Australia, despite contact with Indonesian (Macassan) agriculturalists or New Guinean horticulturalists. Although not always explicitly stated or recognised, significant differences probably exist in the factors and dynamics that led to the pristine development of agriculture, as opposed to agriculture that arose as a result of outside influences, as a result of cultural transfers. In addition, a further question is investigated relating to the concept of Complex Hunter-Gatherers and the validity of some of the frameworks, key arguments, and critical evidence, that have been put forward concerning the development of agriculture, animal husbandry and Complex Hunter-Gatherer economies. A corollary of certain additional factors also explored, such as British colonisation, is the recognition that particular geographic, environmental,climatic, demographic and cultural factors, either singly or in concert, must have affected development in this continent.