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Country: Victoria, West Australia
Site: Mount William
Description of the local variant of the technique
This Australian region with a temperate climate is characterized by humid winters and hot seasons. The strong climatic variations limit the sustenance capacity of the populations that have flooded lands in the humid periods and completely dry lands in the arid ones. In general the human groups react to this situation with seasonal mobility and by practicing according to the conditions, fishing, hunting, and gathering. The aboriginals of Victoria create a system of hydro modification and control on a territorial scale comparable with the formations of Neolithic sedentary (Lourandos, 1980). The point of contact with the slope of the mountains and the beginning of the flood area, an area of about 6 acres, is crossed by a complex network of channels and dykes. The immense work was done by hunter-gatherers using only shovels, until the end of the capturing of eels, an important source of sustenance. The work is constituted by a system of composite formed by adductive channels that bring water from the mountains; drainage channels that regulate the level of some humid zones; an immense network of channels tangled together to form a labyrinth interpreted like a trap for the eels. The works were probably done due to the pressure exerted by the environment that met a continuous worsening of the availability of water around 300 years ago, until the establishment of the actual arid period. Therefore it is possible that the progressive disappearance of the lacustrine resource pushed groups, which had reached a consistent demographic dimension thanks to their spontaneous use of the water, to the organization and maintenance of the system of swamps through the dykes, the diversions and the labyrinth of water.
TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUE DATA