A recent palaeopathological study has indicated that prehistoric Aboriginal society in some parts of southeastern Australia was sedentary and supported large populations. This conclusion generally supports archaeological evidence that a period of socio-enconomic intensification took place over the last 2–3,000 years. Also, concurrent research has focused attention on the possibility of extensive reductions among Aboriginal populations of the area through the introduction of smallpox. This process took place at a very early stage of European colonisation and in regions yet to be explored. As a result, smallpox probably killed large numbers of Aborigens before Europeans knew what the size of indigenous populations were. With these factors in mind, this paper uses both empirically derived data and hypothetical reconstruction to formulate a model for the growth of the Aboriginal population of the central Murray in the late Holocene.
- Australian Aborigines,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/steve_webb/14/