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Engendering Australian and Southeast Asian Prehistory ... 'Beyond Epistemological Angst'

Sue O'Connor
Australian Archaeology
No. 67, More Unconsidered Trifles: Papers to Celebrate the Career of Sandra Bowdler (Dec., 2008), pp. 87-94
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40288026
Page Count: 8
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Engendering Australian and Southeast Asian Prehistory ... 'Beyond Epistemological Angst'
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Abstract

This paper overviews Sandra Bowdler's unique contribution to engendering Australian and Southeast Asian prehistory using three of her papers as case studies. These include 'Hook, line and dilly bag', her study of the New South Wales shell midden, Bass Point; 'Hunters in the highlands', in which she examines the role of women's technology and subsistence choices in enabling exploitation of high altitude regions; and ' Hoabinhian and non-Hoabinhian', in which she reviews the geographic and locational distribution of stone artefacts of Hoabinhian type within Australia and Southeast Asia and posits that they may be women's multipurpose tools. The use of ethnohistory and ethnographic analogy is identified as playing a central role in Bowdler's interpretations of gender roles and gender identity in the prehistoric record. The ethnohistoric record pertaining to Indigenous women's hunting, particularly of marine mammals, is also discussed and used to underpin an explanatory model for the location and patterning of faunal remains in the Tasmanian midden, the Stockyard Site.

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