Meteorite Falls & Cosmic Impacts in Australian Aboriginal Mythology

Duane Willis Hamacher

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The witness and cultural impact of meteorite falls and cosmic impacts has been studied extensively in some world cultures, including cultures of Europe, China, and the Middle East [1]. However, ethnographic records and oral tradi- tions of meteorite falls in Aboriginal culture remain relatively unknown to the scientific community. Various Aboriginal stories from across Australia describe meteorite falls with seemingly accurate detail, frequently citing a specific location, including Wilcannia, NSW; Meteor Island, WA; Hermannsburg, NT; McGrath Flat, SA; and Bodena, NSW among others. Most of these falls and impact sites are unknown to Western science. In addition, some confirmed impact structures are described in Abo- riginal lore as having cosmic origins, including the Gosse’s Bluff [2] and Wolfe Creek craters [3]. This paper attempts to analyse and synthesize the plethora of fragmented historic, archaeologi- cal, and ethnographic data that describe meteorite falls and cos- mic impacts in the mythologies and oral traditions spanning the 300+ distinct Aboriginal groups of Australia. Where applicable, coordinates of the reputed falls and impacts are cited in order for future inspections of these sights for evidence of meteoritic mate- rial or impact cratering.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventAnnual Meeting of the Meteoritical-Society 2009 - University of Nancy, Nancy, France
Duration: 13 Jul 200918 Jul 2009
Conference number: 72nd


ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Meteoritical-Society 2009
Abbreviated titleMetSoc 72

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