Human-Environment interactions in Australian drylands: Time-series analysis of archaeological records
This paper looks at broad-scale temporal and geographic patterns in archaeological data across the Australian arid zone. It asks what sort of articulation with palaeoenvironmental changes is evident and what we might need to do to strengthen our understanding of long-term human-environment interactions in the desert - and (crucially) what sort of human-environment dynamics we could expect to detect in these sorts of studies. At the core of this paper is a comprehensive database of existing 14C, TL, OSL and AAR age determinations for archaeological sites in the Australian arid zone, now comprising >900 dates, combined with application of formal time-series analyses to compare archaeological and palaeoenvironmental records. Several time slices are examined in more detail, either reviewing individual site histories or looking at population estimates or geographic spread of occupation.