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Australian Aborigines

Until this paper, I never even knew there was such a word as Aborigine let alone it being a race of people dating back to the prehistoric times. I thought that all Australians were of Anglo decent, but I was wrong about that assumption. The Aborigines were the first and only inhabitants of Australia, until the late 18th century when European settlers came. Because of the Europeans, the Aborigines lives would change drastically. In this paper, I am going to talk about the Aborigines, describing their origins up to the present. The Aborigines came originally from somewhere in Asia and have been in Australia for at least 40,000 years. The first settlement occurred during an era of lowered sea levels, when there was an almost continuous land bridge between Asia and Australia, allowing them to cross over between the two continents. By 30,000 years ago most of the continent was occupied, including the southwest and southeast corners as well as the Highlands of the island of New Guinea (Mulvaney, 55-56). Archaeologists have found that much of the interior of Australia was abandoned due to severe climatic conditions between 25,000 and 15,000 years ago and reoccupied after the conditions improved. Up until the time the European settlers came in 1788, the Aborigines occupied and utilized the entire continent and had adapted successfully to a large range of ecological and climatic conditions, from wet temperate and tropical rain forests to extremely arid deserts. Population densities ranged from about 1 to 8 square miles per person in the more fertile and coastal areas to more than 35 square miles per person in the deserts. Estimates of the Aboriginal population vary from 300,000 to more than 1,000,000 (Kepars, 15).The Aborigines were hunter-gatherers and because of this, they were dependent on their environment. They did not grow crops or domesticate animals so whenever food was scarce, they were forced to move in order to f...

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