The Discoverers

  • Geoffrey Blainey


The first Australians came across the stepping stones from south-east Asia during an epoch when the level of the ocean was lower. The sea-straits were narrow but the voyages were courageous. The slow eastward movement of these peoples was one of the great events in the history of man.


Step Stone Volcanic Cone Indonesian Archipelago Familiar Food Australian Food 


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  1. 19.
    W. E. Harney, Taboo (Sydney, 1943), pp. 200–2.Google Scholar
  2. 19.
    Tasmanian raft-canoes: exhibit in Tasmanian Museum, Hobart. See also D. F. Thomson, ‘Notes on Some Primitive Watercraft in Northern Australia’, Man, 1952, vol. 52, pp. 1–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 21.
    Polynesian voyages: G. M. Dening, ‘The Geographical Knowledge of the Polynesians’, Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 71, 1962, Supplement on ‘Polynesian Navigation’, esp. p. 131.Google Scholar
  4. 21.
    Analogy between discovering islands and mining fields: G. Blainey, ‘A Theory of Mineral Discovery: Australia in the Nineteenth Century’, Economic History Review, 1970, vol. 23, pp. 304 ff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 23.
    Indonesia’s frequent volcanoes: G. A. Macdonald, ‘Volcano’, in E.B., 1962, vol. 23, p. 243.Google Scholar
  6. 24.
    Rhys Jones, editorial in Mankind, 1969, vol. 7, no. 2.Google Scholar
  7. 27.
    Seeds eaten on plains: R. Jones, ‘Emerging Picture of Pleistocene Australians’, Nature, 30 Nov. 1973, p. 281.Google Scholar
  8. 29.
    M. J. Meggitt, Desert People: a Study of the Walbiri Aborigines of Central Australia (Sydney, 1962), pp. 50–1.Google Scholar
  9. 29.
    Fluid tribal boundaries: E. C. Black, ‘Population and Tribal Distribution’, in B. C. Cotton ed., Aboriginal Man in South and Central Australia (Adelaide, 1966), p. 105.Google Scholar
  10. 31.
    Sydney languages: A Capell, ‘Aboriginal Languages in the South Central Coast, New South Wales: Fresh Discoveries.’ Oceania, 1971, vol. 41, pp. 22–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey Blainey

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