Images

  • Pencil and sanguine drawings by Pavel Mikhailov, 1820. Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

Evidence of Aboriginal presence in Australia dates back tens-of-thousands of years.

On the Northern Beaches, many early heritage sites were likely lost to the ocean when sea levels last rose and stabilised around 6,000 years ago.

However, the numerous shell middens and rock engravings in this area are evidence of the abundant seafood, seasonal plant foods, hunting and ceremonial life of local Aboriginal people.

Indeed, the Northern Beaches may have been among the most densely populated parts of the continent prior to non-Aboriginal settlement.

There is local archaeological evidence of a 3,000-year-old burial and countless microliths (small stone tools). It is one of the most significant sites on the eastern seaboard.

Bungaree was born near Broken Bay in the 1780s and became a prominent figure on the Northern Beaches in the early 1800s.

He circumnavigated Australia in 1802-03 with the British navigator Matthew Flinders and mapped the South and West Australian coastline with Phillip Parker King.

Bungaree died in 1832.

If you love history and would like to learn more about Sydney’s Aboriginal people, come along to a special History Week author talk: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney.

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