Dingoes and Aboriginal social organization in Holocene Australia

Jane Balme, Susan O'Connor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Dogs are perhaps the most widespread domesticated animal and the species that forms the closest bonds with humans. Placental dogs (dingoes) appear in the Australian record in the mid to late Holocene and, at European contact just over 200. years ago, tamed dingoes were observed to be living with Aboriginal people. These dingoes were used as companions, protectors and as hunting dogs. In addition, differences between women's and men's relationships with dingoes have been observed. There is evidence in the archaeological faunal record that such relationships between people and dingoes began soon after the initial arrival of dingoes. We conclude that dingoes were an important technology for Aboriginal people and that their rapid incorporation into Aboriginal societies re-organized gender roles in economic life after the mid-Holocene in Australia.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
    VolumeAvailable online 8 September 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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