Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Western NSW Branch Meeting 2022-2

Colin Pardoe“Making a living on the plains — Stone tools and archaeology of Aboriginal societies”


Biological Anthropologist and Archaeologist

Date: Wednesday, 18 May 2022, 12.00 pm AEST 
Venue:  Wal Fife Lecture Theatre (Building 14, Room 212),
Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga Campus) and live-streaming by Zoom
Video presentation: YouTube video
All are welcome

Summary:  Stone tools are more durable than the string, wood and other perishables that would be used every day. Some, like the Bogan Pick, are enigmatic items whose use is unclear to us today. Others, like the stone axe or hatchet heads, are more familiar. These items tell us about local environments, trade and how one made a living over the thousands of years when people adapted to their world from Ice Age to Inter-Glacial; when the desert encroached further east and Willandra Creek flowed to Lake Mungo, to the last ten thousand years when the modern rivers set their courses. In this talk, Colin Pardoe will discuss the variety of tools used to make a living and the attachment people have to items with lifespans covering perhaps thousands of years. Examples will be drawn from across the Murray Darling Basin – Wiradjuri, Barapa, Barkandji and many others who have shared their interest and knowledge.

About the speaker: Colin Pardoe is a biological anthropologist and archaeologist, although mainly the latter nowadays. He studies the links between people from the biology of bones and the culture of trade in ground-stone tools. He spends most of his time on the archaeology of the Murray – Darling Basin. Since retiring from commercial archaeology Colin helps with ‘Archaeology in the service of Conservation’. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, has a love and friendship affiliation with the Department of Archaeology and Natural History at the Australian National University, and is a life member of the Australian Archaeological Association and of the Australian Association of Consulting Archaeologists. A number of his papers are available at 

Face-to-face vaccination requirements: All events held on Charles Sturt University campuses require all persons aged 16 years or older attending the event, including students, visitors, clients, suppliers, contractors and staff, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (Vaccination Requirement) unless such persons have a COVID-19 vaccine medical contraindication exemption (Medical Exemption).  These measures allow Charles Sturt to proactively focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone, including the communities in which we operate.

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