Aborigines were making tools from the premises of the First Colonies


This is the story of an archaeological research that began on a construction site in Sydney and ended on the banks of the Thames River in London. Phil Mercer of the BBC reports the origins of recent Aboriginal works.

For the Aborigines, the arrival of the British settlers in 1788 pointed to the beginning of expropriation, violence and political events, which could undoubtedly harm generations.

However, recent research gives more information on how the Aboriginal groups use some of the colonial technolo- gies to their advantage.

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Archaeologists believe that native tribes produced traditional tools from flint stones used as balance weights on British ships after the development of convoy vessels in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Experts say the pieces of stone were probably laid on arrival at Sidney. The materials were then taken or given by the coastal Aborigian families, who live in Randwick's present suburb of Sidney.

In 2016, workers uncovered what was supposed to be part of Aboriginal works. During studies on a light rail track, more than 30,000 stones were found by chance

Works were found in Sidney while working on a light rail network. C: Transport NSW

However, after careful research, archaeologists now believe that only 100-200 are culturally important items.

Most of the stone pieces were flint, a type of rock that is not found in Sydney

The consultant group is an archaeologist from GML Heritage. Tim Owen says there is evidence that the flintstones have been reworked for tools in accordance with traditional Aboriginal practice.

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In a statement to the BBC, he says, "This site does not contain only flint materials, but also contains a number of other works showing the Aboriginal people working there."

"Findings show that this is a traditional place for Aboriginal people. When aborigines produce objects, they do not just bump into each other, they use very special techniques to really separate the pieces. The number of parts with very defined strike points indicates this to us. "

The first British fleet arrived in Sydney in 1788. C: Paolo Busato / Sydney Life Museum

Thames resemblance

To find the source of the flintstone, Owen's research led him to the other side of the world: near the muddy edges of the River Thames, where the prisoners were preparing ships and heavily weighted for long journeys to Sydney.

"I went to the nearest mud flats where I could go to the old shipbuilder in Deptford and collected stuff. I gathered up to 50 examples of all the different colors I could see, and examined all the different situations and worn-out places. "

London pebbles were compared to those found in Sydney and after forensic analysis they were all chemically identical.

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The first discovery in Sydney, however, caused the controversy. In 2016, a group of Aboriginal elders, in 1984, called for work on the light rail line, citing the Aboriginal Heritage Protection Act

The oldest uncle, Darug, stopped and said, "I want to see the area classified as the Aboriginal heritage site."

However, the federal government rejected the proposal. He said that the site had no place of persecution and was not included in the scope of the action.

According to experts, some culturally significant items may never be found. C: Transport NSW

Previous findings

The last artifacts are not the only examples of species in Sydney.

In the 1980s and '90s, the excavations at the first Government House, where the Sydney Museum was located near the lima, revealed more than 20 native artifacts.

These include imported stone tools, glassware, and imported flint tools, such as those found in Randwick. It also had the same chemical markers as hard rock from London.

The search for Beth Hise from the Sidney Life Museum, which runs the Old Government House, helped illuminate the way the Aborigines entered the first colony.

"They suffered enormously at the expense of the Europeans and the deterioration of their culture and the dispossession of their land, but they still understood what they needed to make alliances, adapted to their new conditions."

Exploration says that it helps to develop "a new way of thinking about the first years of colonization."

"There is no clear distinction between Aboriginal history and European history, there is a very great connection between the two. The Aboriginal people, on the one hand, were directed towards an atmosphere that was part of violence and hostility, on the one hand, friendship and connection, and of course, an atmosphere that always resented invasion. "

Aboriginal leaders complain that their ancestors were destroyed by the early colonization date in Sydney.

"We are resilient and harmonious with the new technology that comes with the colonialists," says Chris Ingrey of the La Perouse Local-Native Council of the Soils.

"Not just stone materials, but metal as well. Many of our Aboriginal families in Sydney used to operate European boats and fisheries businesses that were busy with the economy from the 1790s to the end of the 1890s. "

"Our old people hunted with rifles instead of spears. They take European technology very quickly and use it to their advantage. "

Many stories about Sidney's complex and rich colonial past are hidden beneath the streets, offices and suburbs, but unfortunately they never see daylight.

BBC. March 31, 2018.


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