Cultural sites in GunaiKurnai Country

Jessie C. Buettel, Russell Mullett, Jessie Birkett-Rees, Bruno David, Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Joanna Fresløv, Stefania Ondei, Robert John Skelly, Jerome Mialanes

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A key dimension of GunaiKurnai ecology and GKLaWAC’s Whole-of-Country Plan is that the whole landscape is cultural (see Chapter 1). What, then, are ‘cultural sites’ if the whole landscape is cultural? For the purposes of this volume, we refer to individual Aboriginal places as ‘cultural sites’ if they show archaeological evidence of past Aboriginal activities, or if they are associated with oral traditions, while not forgetting that the entire landscape is an artefact of cultural practice and Country in GunaiKurnai ways and management. We stress also that while we report on cultural sites listed in the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register
(VAHR), the vast majority of sites in GunaiKurnai Country surely remain unrecorded given the limited surveyed areas. In this chapter we examine the role of heritage legislation in shaping the VAHR and consider the locations of cultural sites in relation to surface geology, current vegetation cover and current land use, and what this may mean for fire risk.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFires in GunaiKurnai Country
Subtitle of host publicationLandscape Fires and their Impacts on Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Places and Artefacts in Southeastern Australia
EditorsJessie C. Buettel, Bruno David, Russell Mullett, Joanna Fresløv, Katherine Szabo
Place of PublicationSummertown Oxford UK
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781803274829
ISBN (Print)9781803274812
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Cultural burning
  • Fire management
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Bushfire and wildfire

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