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Bush Fire Revelation

25 January 2020

At https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/21/asia/budj-bim-australia-bushfire-intl… … the recent bushfires in Victoria (2020) have revealed some interesting archaeology, a series of water channels created by Aborigines in order to trap and harvest eels. Actually, that is not quite true as it has been  known for quite some time. What is new is a series of further channels hitherto unattested. The Budj Bim landscape consisted of channels, weirs and dams built from volcanic rocks and appear to be one of the world's oldest and most extensive aquatic systems (which again may be an exaggeration of reality). What we do know is that Budj Bim goes back to around 6000 years ago (the date currently in favour). Eels were of course a food resource and continued to be exploited right up to the arrival of European colonialists  – together with fish. Go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budj_Bim for a brief history. Budj Bim is in fact a volcano and the topography of the lava flows caused rivers to divert and swamps to form. These were then adapted by the Aborigines.

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2020/01/evidence-of-speciali… …. meanwhile, in what is now NW Lebanon, a hunting camp has been unearthed – going back 10,000 years ago. It seems sheep were the primary game target. It dates, culturally defined, to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period (10,000-8,000 years ago) when the cultivators of crops lived in villages of mud brick dwellings. They appear to have been living beside other people who still maintained a hunter gatherer tradition – which ultimately resulted in the domestication of sheep (after a period of managing wild herds). The hunting of sheep in the region is also known from earlier periods – and at various locations in what is now the Syrian steppe or desert.

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