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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia
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'Soon after Billy Griffiths joins his first archaeological dig as camp manager and cook, he is hooked. Equipped with a historian’s inquiring mind, he embarks on a journey through time, seeking to understand the extraordinary deep history of the Australian continent.

'Deep Time Dreaming is the passionate product of that journey. It investigates a twin revolution: the reassertion of Aboriginal identity in the second half of the twentieth century, and the uncovering of the traces of ancient Australia.

'It explores what it means to live in a place of great antiquity, with its complex questions of ownership and belonging. It is about a slow shift in national consciousness: the deep time dreaming that has changed the way many of us relate to this continent and its enduring, dynamic human history.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Author's note: In honour of the original discoverers, explorers and colonists of Australia

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Carlton, Parkville - Carlton area, Melbourne - North, Melbourne, Victoria,: Black Inc. , 2018 .
      image of person or book cover 2448054816743187061.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 384 [8 p. illus.]p.
      Description: illus.
      Note/s:
      • Published 26 February 2018

      ISBN: 9781760640446, 9781743820384

Other Formats

Works about this Work

Kim Sterelny Review of Billy Griffiths, Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia Kim Sterelny , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Journal of Biography and History , April no. 3 2020; (p. 163-166)

— Review of Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia Billy Griffiths , 2018 single work autobiography
'Billy Griffiths begins this thoughtful, nuanced and beautifully written work with an admission: it is written by an outsider. The book is a reflection on the archaeology of Australia and its significance, but it is the product of a fringe-dwelling onlooker; a historian. In a similar spirit of full disclosure, I should warn the reader that I too am an outsider; neither historian nor archaeologist, but a philosopher of science. Worse still, an unreconstructed and unapologetic positivist. That is relevant, for Griffiths thinks of archaeology has having aspects of both a science and a humanity. Moreover, without quite saying so explicitly, it is clear that he thinks both intellectual traditions are of equal standing. Both essential; neither privileged. In contrast, in the project of uncovering and understanding Australia’s deep past—human, biological, geological, climatic—I think science, fallible though it is, is privileged. More on that shortly.' (Introduction)
What I’m Reading Jock Serong , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: Meanjin Online 2019;
New Research Turns Tasmanian Aboriginal History on Its Head. The Results Will Help Care for the Land Ted Lefroy , David Bowman , Grant Williamson , Penelope Jane Jones , 2019 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 4 October 2019;

'American farmer and poet Wendell Berry said of the first Europeans in North America that they came with vision, but not with sight. They came with vision of former places but not the sight to see what was before them. Instead of adapting their vision to suit the place, they changed the landscape to fit their vision.' (Introduction)

[Review] Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia Bain Attwood , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Historical Studies , vol. 50 no. 1 2019; (p. 128-129)

'In this splendid book, Billy Griffiths investigates a historical revolution that occurred in Australia in the second half of the twentieth century – the dramatic discovery by archaeologists that this continent had a deep Aboriginal history, and the accompanying assertion by Aboriginal people of their status and rights as the nation’s first peoples – which saw the country’s Aboriginal past shift from the periphery of the nation’s story to its centre.'  (Introduction)

Belonging Dan Tout , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Arena Magazine , February no. 158 2019; (p. 55-56)

— Review of Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia Billy Griffiths , 2018 single work autobiography

'Billy Griffiths’ Deep Time Dreaming has been warmly received by both an academic and a general readership, and for the most part this reception is well deserved. The book’s cover announces Griffiths’ project as that of investigating ‘a twin revolution: the reassertion of Aboriginal identity in the second half of the twentieth century, and the uncovering of the traces of ancient Australia’, and exploring ‘what it means to live in a place of great antiquity, with its complex questions of ownership and belonging’. Griffiths’ historiography of the development of Australian archaeology since the middle of the twentieth century is exceedingly well researched, well written and highly engaging.' (Introduction)

y separately published work icon [Review] Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia Astrid Edwards , Melbourne : Bad Producer Productions , 2018 14401950 2018 single work single work review
— Review of Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia Billy Griffiths , 2018 single work autobiography

'What is the common heritage of mankind? And who are the gatekeepers of that knowledge? These are the questions Deep Time Dreaming forces us to consider. There are no easy answers, particularly as the early decades of archaeology in Australia are rife with questionable practices and methodologies that leave their mark on the discipline – and the physical sites – to this day.' (Introduction)

[Review Essay] Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia Patricia Courtenay , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , vol. 43 no. 4 2018; (p. 539-540)

— Review of Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia Billy Griffiths , 2018 single work autobiography

'Billy Griffiths, a non-Indigenous Australian historian, has written a comprehensive historical overview of the main characters involved in Australia’s modern-day archaeology and their excavations. Griffiths’ narrative style of writing allows his story to be read by the general population not just those in the scholarly world. Indeed, Griffiths has weaved, with overwhelming historical research data and evidence, a yarn that is accessible to all Australians. In the introduction, Griffiths clearly identifies his purpose for engaging in a field, archaeology, outside of his profession, history. Griffiths feels that undertaking an historical account of recent archaeology provides him the opportunity to belong to a land that his forebears conquered. He believes that Australia’s original inhabitants were discoverers, explorers and colonists, not unlike his ancestors. Griffiths succinctly explains the title, “Deep Time” and “Dreaming”, as a twin revolution and accommodating two intellectual traditions. Griffiths believes he is attempting to merge the relationship between Australia’s past and present, while at the same time acknowledging his limited understanding of Aboriginal cultural, legal and historical information. Griffiths hopes his story creates an international perspective conveying that Indigenous Australian history is dynamic, diverse and ancient.'  (Introduction)

[Review] Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia Michael C. Westaway , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Journal of Politics and History , March vol. 65 no. 1 2019; (p. 135-136)

— Review of Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia Billy Griffiths , 2018 single work autobiography

'Australia’s ancient history (“prehistory” for some) represents a significant component of the Australian human past, and yet it is seldom considered as a core part of the nation’s history. There are many reasons for this: as “prehistory” it is not considered history by many, and moreover much of the knowledge of this ancient past is largely inaccessible. Held captive in technical monographs and journal articles, it often incorporates scientific jargon that can be tedious and difficult to interpret. Unlike the remarkable prehistory of international places like the Dordogne valley and the famous rock art at Lascaux, that has been so enthusiastically embraced as a central part of France’s past, the ~60,000 years of the Aboriginal past has seldom had any significant impact on the broader Australian public.'  (Introduction)

Belonging Dan Tout , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Arena Magazine , February no. 158 2019; (p. 55-56)

— Review of Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia Billy Griffiths , 2018 single work autobiography

'Billy Griffiths’ Deep Time Dreaming has been warmly received by both an academic and a general readership, and for the most part this reception is well deserved. The book’s cover announces Griffiths’ project as that of investigating ‘a twin revolution: the reassertion of Aboriginal identity in the second half of the twentieth century, and the uncovering of the traces of ancient Australia’, and exploring ‘what it means to live in a place of great antiquity, with its complex questions of ownership and belonging’. Griffiths’ historiography of the development of Australian archaeology since the middle of the twentieth century is exceedingly well researched, well written and highly engaging.' (Introduction)

Kim Sterelny Review of Billy Griffiths, Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia Kim Sterelny , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Journal of Biography and History , April no. 3 2020; (p. 163-166)

— Review of Deep Time Dreaming : Uncovering Ancient Australia Billy Griffiths , 2018 single work autobiography
'Billy Griffiths begins this thoughtful, nuanced and beautifully written work with an admission: it is written by an outsider. The book is a reflection on the archaeology of Australia and its significance, but it is the product of a fringe-dwelling onlooker; a historian. In a similar spirit of full disclosure, I should warn the reader that I too am an outsider; neither historian nor archaeologist, but a philosopher of science. Worse still, an unreconstructed and unapologetic positivist. That is relevant, for Griffiths thinks of archaeology has having aspects of both a science and a humanity. Moreover, without quite saying so explicitly, it is clear that he thinks both intellectual traditions are of equal standing. Both essential; neither privileged. In contrast, in the project of uncovering and understanding Australia’s deep past—human, biological, geological, climatic—I think science, fallible though it is, is privileged. More on that shortly.' (Introduction)
'The Cryptic Residue of Former Worlds' : Tracing One of History's Great Narratives Kim Mahood , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 400 2018; (p. 38-39)

'In Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering ancient Australia, Billy Griffiths describes the process of imagining the past through the traces and sediments of archaeology as ‘an act of wonder – a dilation of the commonplace – that challenges us to infer meaning from the cryptic residue of former worlds’. In his endeavour to infer meaning from this cryptic residue, Griffiths begins his wondering by sifting through the evidence, insights, enthusiasms, and mistakes of an articulate band of Cambridge-trained archaeologists who, from the 1960s, professionalised what had been the province of amateurs. Led by John Mulvaney, they halted the indiscriminate gathering of artefacts and human remains, brought rigorous techniques to the excavation of sites, and began to strip back the layers of time, aeon by aeon, to reveal the astonishing antiquity of human presence on the Australian continent.' (Introduction)

History Is Always About the Present Robyn Davidson , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: The Monthly , May no. 144 2018; (p. 52-54)

'History is the present, they say, and every generation writes it anew. Not just generations, but new contestants in the historical narrative of any country - conquerors and conquered, dominators and dominated. The same holds true for the study of the human past through its material remains: archaeology.' (Introduction)

We Are All Truth-Tellers Now Tom Clark , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , November 2018;

'Something about Australia’s settler-colonial foundations is getting in the way of its future somehow. I write this, watching humpback whales jump and twist off the New South Wales south coast, swimming somewhere this side of the line where the continental shelf drops away to deep ocean. It is a 15-minute walk through the spotted gum forest to shell middens that date back to the last great rise in water levels, flanking a lagoon that carries its Djirringan name but whose surrounding lands were expropriated before 1900.' (Introduction)

The Archaeologist as Hero in Billy Griffiths’ Deep Time Dreaming Scott Robinson , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , November 2018;

'Billy Griffiths relates an encounter in Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia(Black Inc., 2018) that I think is representative of this readable, journalistic book about the history of Australian archaeology. Driving towards Lake Mungo, Griffiths is guided by Daryl Pappin, a Mutthi Mutthi man. They are discussing the effect of the archaeological ‘discoveries’ in the area and Griffiths tries to draw Pappin into celebrating this new knowledge, and what it means for Indigenous antiquity...'  (Introduction)

[Review] Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia Kelly D. Wiltshire , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Aboriginal Studies , no. 2 2018; (p. 85-87)

'A few years ago — prior to my current role — I was interviewed for a job at AIATSIS. After providing a description of my previous experience working as an archaeologist, I was informed by the chair of the interview panel that AIATSIS no longer undertakes archaeological research. I was surprised to learn this. Was I the only person in the interview room who knew of the historical association between AIATSIS and the discipline of Australian archaeology? Following the interview I set about hatching plans for an oral history project that would highlight the long historical association between AIATSIS and archaeology, in order to produce a more detailed account beyond the odd reference that seemed to exist within the published sources. Then I read Billy Griffiths’ Deep time Dreaming: uncovering ancient Australia and breathed a sigh of relief.' (Introduction)

Last amended 19 Dec 2019 15:27:43
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