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'Where the cattle went, they went': towards a phenomenological archaeology of mustering in the Kunderang Gorges, northeastern New South Wales

By Rodney Harrison


The paper seeks to understand the relationships that developed between former pastoral workers and the rugged landscape of the Kunderang Ravines through a consideration of the results of a joint program of archaeological and oral history research. Mapping the 'landscape biographies' of former Aboriginal and settler pastoral workers and their descendents, and 'story-trekking' (after Green et al. 2003) along their remembered narrative paths allows a more embodied approach to the archaeology of cattle mustering to emerge. By riding and walking along familiar pathways and mustering routes, pastoral workers and their kin created a familiar sense of being-in-the-landscape (after Bender 2001), while simultaneously creating that landscape. In many ways, the work on Kunderang can be understood as a response to Gaston Bachelard's call for 'each one of us [to] speak of his roads, his crossroads, his roadside benches; each one of us should make a surveyor's map of his lost field and meadows' (1969: 11) and to understand those habits which he describes in the same work as the 'passionate liaison of our bodies' with a space or landscape (in Wise 2000)

Publisher: Archaeopress
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:oro.open.ac.uk:22524
Provided by: Open Research Online

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