The big flood: responding to sea-level rise and the inundated continental shelf

Benjamin, Jonathan, and Ulm, Sean (2021) The big flood: responding to sea-level rise and the inundated continental shelf. In: McNiven, Ian J., and David, Bruno, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Indigenous Australia and New Guinea. Oxford Handbooks Online . Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom.

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Since the first peopling of Australia and New Guinea (the continent of Sahul) during times of lower sea level more than 60,000 years ago, approximately 2 million km2 of land, roughly one-third of the present continental land mass, has been drowned by sea-level rise. Landscapes encountered and settled by thousands of generations of people throughout the continent have been inundated by rising seas as polar ice and glaciers melted into the world’s oceans. While some archaeological sites formed within these landscapes were no doubt destroyed by the rising seas, many sites are likely to have survived. This submerged archaeological record represents the majority of human occupation in Sahul, spanning the period from initial peopling of the continent to 7000 years BP. As a major frontier in Australian archaeology, investigation of what is now seabed will ultimately lead to revised and enhanced understanding of the continental archaeological record. By reevaluating the coastal zone, submerged landscapes, and continental shelf, consideration for these past cultural landscapes in what is now Sea Country has the potential to profoundly reshape the archaeological discourse of Australia and New Guinea.

Item ID: 69677
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-0-19-009561-1
Keywords: submerged landscape archaeology, continental shelf, maritime archaeology, marine geophysics, underwater cultural heritage
Copyright Information: © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CE170100015), ARC Discovery Project (DP170100812)
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2021 02:25
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history > 450101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander archaeology @ 50%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430108 Maritime archaeology @ 25%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 25%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130703 Understanding Australia’s past @ 100%
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