Being an Archaeologist in Australia

Hi everyone! I Have just got back from one of the most amazing experiences of my year abroad so far and possibly my degree. Through a series of fortunate events I was able to be part of a field trip to the Flinders Ranges. I volunteered to help one of the archaeology masters students, alongside a team of three other students, to record a rock shelter in Adnyamathanha land.

The Flinders Ranges is one of the most stunning landscapes I have ever seen. The Kangaroos bounced across the bush in the mornings just like an advert for travelling in Australia! We weren’t very far into the Ranges, but we were still surrounded by mountains and bushland and there were lots of kangaroos and emus to see. Quite a few of the emus had chicks, and thankfully we didn’t run any over.

The archaeology and rock shelter were also incredible. I feel like I got a glimpse into Adnyamathanha culture. While we were recording one of the elders of the community came and explained some of the paintings to us. It was really interesting to hear about how the paintings reflected different parts of life in the Adnyamathanha community. We had great fun recording the shelter and I feel very lucky that this was my first experience of fieldwork in Australia.

So, this week’s top tips are about traveling in the Flinders Ranges:

  • If you go in the spring/summer it will be hot, so take lots of water, sun cream and cool clothing.
  • While you’re there take the time to learn a bit about Adnyamathanha culture, there are multiple rock shelters and other sites across the Flinders Ranges
  • Take a good camera, as there are lots of amazing photo opportunities
  • If you are susceptible to insect bites or don’t particularly like flies, make sure you take some insect repellent.
  • And finally, if you get the opportunity to have volunteering experience in your field on your year abroad, take it!

Madeleine Peston on a semester exchange at Flinders University from University of Leicester, the United Kingdom: Semester 2 2017

  • Read Madeleine’s 1st blog post here and 2nd blog post here 
Flinders Ranges
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