AASV201702 Wurdi Youang: What the Stones Tell us. Presented by Heather Threadgold
Thursday, 20 April 2017 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm (AEST)
Wurdi Youang: What the Stones Tell us
Speaker: Heather Threadgold
Thursday April 20
Aboriginal stone arrangements in Australia are rarely found intact. A study of fifteen stone sites show us that while many known sites reside in regional landscapes across Australia’s lands and waters, it is the sites on the peri-urban fringes of Australia’s metropolitan cities that are causing considerable angst to Aboriginal custodians, and debates by land use planners and developers as to how to accommodate such sites in sprawl. Three such sites -- Wurdi Youang, Sunbury Earth Rings and Gummingurru - have common factors that allow an understanding of Indigenous culture, the positioning of the sites and three layers of landscape: ancient, indigenous Country’s, and European created and envisaged landscape. All three sites impinge upon farmlands and are under threat by urban sprawl. Land use planning reactions to this issue have primarily involved adaptation; a process whereby Aboriginal custodians, heritage and community groups and governments work together to create a new layered landscape of meaning that incorporates culture, community, a space, and seeks to protect/preserve/conserve the site as an artefact in time. This contrasts with comprehending its cultural meaning and role, its contribution to Indigenous cultural values, and how it sits in the process of culture establishment and continuity
About the Presenter
Heather Threadgold is an anthropologist living in Geelong. Her research is split between cultural anthropology: Indigenous living space, stone arrangements and two distinct genres of monuments and street art culture. For the past 13 years she has been researching Wathaurong (Wadda Wurrung) Living Space in Victoria, highlighting the meanings of stone arrangements and stone monuments as tools in defining landscape, seasonal movement, burial sites and meeting places.
When & Where
Archaeological & Anthropological Society of Victoria (AASV)
The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria was formed in 1976 through the amalgamation of two societies, the Anthropological Society of Victoria and the Archaeological Society of Victoria. Although one was formed 30 years before the other both owed their origin to inspiring lectures given by singularly gifted academic lecturers to what were largely non-academic audiences. Both lecturers were on the staff of the University of Melbourne but stimulated the enthusiasm of people outside the university community.
The AASV welcomes members from all walks of life: professional archaeologists and anthropologists, students, and interested laypeople. We hold monthly meetings with free lectures covering a wide range of topics from the broad disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, and we offer a range of activities including fieldtrips and the opportunity to participate on archaeological digs. While the Pacific region has a special place in the work of the Society, lectures cover a wide range of topics and regions across the world. Links with the University of Melbourne, LaTrobe University and Monash are strong with both staff and students regularly speaking to the society about their work.