Publication Date: Oct 2015
RRP: $24.95
ISBN: 9781922235749
Format: Paperback
Size: 135mm x 210mm
Pages: 176
Category: Australian History

The Australian Archaeologist’s Book of Quotations

Mike Smith and Billy Griffiths


Australian archaeology has been involved in a great enterprise over the last sixty years, uncovering the deep past of a desert continent and the history of its first people. This book is a guide to the catchphrases of the discipline. It is a meditation on science and place, culture and politics, deep time and the Dreaming – and it is steeped in an appreciation of good writing and a well-turned phrase. Woven in amongst these quotations is the story of how, as a nation, we are coming to terms with ancient Australia.

The entries are drawn from letters and journals, histories and poems, newspapers and novels. Each has been chosen because it is a pithy summation of an issue. Combined, they map the development of the field and encourage a dialogue between science and the humanities.


Mike Smith and Billy Griffiths

The Australian Archaeologist’s Book of Quotations

Edited by Mike Smith and Billy Griffiths

A print-sized collection that punches well above its weight, this collection is a must-have for active and armchair adventurers alike.Ruth A Morgan, Australian Book Review

From the book:

The discoverers, explorers and colonists of the three million square miles which are Australia, were its Aborigines. John Mulvaney, 1969

Perhaps we should call what the Aborigines did ‘fire-stick farming’.Rhys Jones, 1969

…if we Aborigines cannot control our own heritage, what the hell can we control? Rosalind Langford, 1983

Australian archaeology has been involved in a great enterprise over the last sixty years, uncovering the deep past of a desert continent and the history of its first people. This book is a guide to the catchphrases of the discipline. It is a meditation on science and place, culture and politics, deep time and the Dreaming – and it is steeped in an appreciation of good writing and a well-turned phrase. Woven in amongst these quotations is the story of how, as a nation, we are coming to terms with ancient Australia.

The entries are drawn from letters and journals, histories and poems, newspapers and novels. Each has been chosen because it is a pithy summation of an issue. Combined, they map the development of the field and encourage a dialogue between science and the humanities.