Fire and the Transformation of Landscapes

Cassandra Rowe, Janelle Stevenson, Simon Connor, Matthew Adeleye

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Australia is a fire-prone continent, and its long-term history of burning is the product of millennia of interactions between climatic and cultural fire. Australia is also highly diverse, both in terms of landscape composition and fire regimes, as well as ecosystem responses to fire-regime changes. This article presents a compilation of research on Holocene fire histories across major climatic and biogeographic zones of Australia into New Guinea. It then brings together research on pollen-based vegetation change and fire history for key sites within each zone. The result is a series of ecosystem ‘fire moments’ that explore fire’s role as an environmental transformer, an artefact of climate, vegetation, and culture. This article seeks to promote collaborative research in the examination of fire and its effects in time and space, ultimately seeking fine-resolution transdisciplinary studies that encompass a range of knowledge systems in partnership research and as a means to address future methodological challenges.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Indigenous Australia and New Guinea
    Editors Ian J. McNiven and Bruno David
    Place of PublicationEngland
    PublisherOxford Uniting Press
    ISBN (Print)9780190095611
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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