The Future Makers

This talk summarises one argument in The Biggest Estate on Earth. It argues that, at the time of contact ("1788"), Aborigines were using fire and no fire to distribute plants, and plant distribution to locate animals, birds, reptiles and insects ("animals"). This was enforced by universal religious sanction, but to implement depended on detailed local knowledge across Australia's immense variety of climate and terrain. The landscape was thus not natural in 1788, but made.