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The Biggest Estate on Earth

The Biggest Estate on Earth 4

How Aborigines made Australia

by Bill Gammage
Paperback
Publication Date: 01/06/2012
5/5 Rating 4 Reviews
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Explodes the myth that pre-settlement Australia was an untamed wilderness revealing the complex, country-wide systems of land management used by Aboriginal people.

Across Australia, early Europeans commented again and again that the land looked like a park. With extensive grassy patches and pathways, open woodlands and abundant wildlife, it evoked a country estate in England. Bill Gammage has discovered this was because Aboriginal people managed the land in a far more systematic and scientific fashion than we have ever realised.

For over a decade, Gammage has examined written and visual records of the Australian landscape. He has uncovered an extraordinarily complex system of land management using fire and the life cycles of native plants to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. We know Aboriginal people spent far less time and effort than Europeans in securing food and shelter, and now we know how they did it.

With details of land-management strategies from around Australia, The Biggest Estate on Earth rewrites the history of this continent, with huge implications for us today. Once Aboriginal people were no longer able to tend their country, it became overgrown and vulnerable to the hugely damaging bushfires we now experience. And what we think of as virgin bush in a national park is nothing of the kind.

ISBN:
9781743311325
9781743311325
Category:
Australasian & Pacific history
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
01-06-2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
ALLEN & UNWIN
Country of origin:
Australia
Pages:
384
Dimensions (mm):
244x172x28mm
Weight:
1.05kg
Bill Gammage

Bill Gammage is a historian and adjunct professor in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University.

He is best known as author of the ground-breaking The Broken Years: Australian Soldiers in the Great War.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (4 Ratings)
5 stars (3)
4 stars (1)
3 stars (0)
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1 stars (0)
  • The Biggest Estate on Earth

    by on

    An exciting look at Australian Aboriginal history. Very well researched and an easy to read story of our first people to our Southern land.

  • The Biggest Estate on Earth

    by on

    I found this book to be excellent and it has shed a lot of light on exactly how the aborigines lived and cared for the land throughout the centuries. It has taken away a lot of the mystery. A must read for the teachers of our children.
    Well done Bill Gammage

  • the biggest estate on earth and convincing ground

    by on

    our kids could learn much more about looking after our earth reading these than reading harry potter !

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