The Moth Hunters

Aboriginal prehistory of the Australian Alps

by Josephine Flood

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Book Cover: The Moth Hunters

A ground-breaking prehistory of the Australian Alps. 

In this landmark book, Josephine Flood combines archaeological, ethnohistorical and ecological evidence to create a detailed prehistory of the Australian Alps and Aboriginal life in the region. Areas covered include, but are not limited to: the geography, demography and economy; the tribal territories, customs and languages; artifact types, settlement patterns, and ceremonial grounds. Containing maps, photographs, tables and an extensive appendix, The Moth Hunters remains an essential reference forty years after its first release.

‘Dr Flood essays a total picture of Aboriginal communities and their use of and impact on terrain through time. ‘Pure’ archaeology is not enough. Archaeology plus the environmental sciences is not enough. Ethnohistory is not enough — for it is a view from the wrong side of the frontier. Only from an amalgam of archaeology, landscape sciences and documentary studies can a living portrait be moulded of any part of Australia and its people.’ So wrote Sylvia Hallam in the journal, Aboriginal History in 1982 in her review of The Moth Hunters. She concludes by stating the book to be ‘a most impressive and important piece of work.’ And so it has proven to be, from its first publication in 1980.

Josephine Flood AM is an archaeologist, author and former director of the Aboriginal Heritage Section of the Australian Heritage Commission. Her works include The Moth Hunters (1980), Archaeology of the Dreamtime (1983) and The Riches of Ancient Australia (1993). Her most recent book is the revised edition of The Original Australians (2019).

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Published by Untapped: the Australian Literary Heritage Project

Once out of print, these lost Australian books have been brought back to life as part of Untapped: the Australian Literary Heritage Project. You can borrow them from your local library as ebooks, or buy from all major online booksellers.

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