Paradigm shifts and ontological turns at Cloggs Cave, GunaiKurnai Country, Australia

Bruno David, Joanna Fresløv, Russell Mullett, Jean Jacques Delannoy, Fiona Petchey, Jerome Mialanes, Lynette Russell, Rachel Wood, Lee J. Arnold, Matthew McDowell, Johan Berthet, Richard Fullagar, Vanessa N.L. Wong, Helen Green, Chris Urwin, Laure Metz, Joe Crouch, Jeremy Ash

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3 Citations (Scopus)


In 1971–1972, excavations at Cloggs Cave, a classic Australian archaeological site, revealed new archaeological evidence on the subsistence economy and environmental adaptations of southeastern Aboriginal peoples during and after the Last Glacial Maximum. A re-thinking of the site’s original sequence coupled with new excavations in 2019 now offers a very different picture of the archaeology, a reading more akin with ethnographic and current GunaiKurnai worldviews. This re-reading signals more than a paradigm shift, but rather an ontological turn that challenges researchers to not reduce archaeological records, including symbolic expressions, to the logic and language of “habitat and economy,” but rather to recognise that other fundamental factors such as kinship, social relations, and the spirit-world, all informed by cultural world views, also fundamentally shape the archaeological record.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOntologies of Rock Art
Subtitle of host publicationImages, Relational Approaches, and Indigenous Knowledges
EditorsOscar Moro Abadia, Martin Porr
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780429321863
ISBN (Print)9780367337803
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021


  • Ontology
  • Rock Art
  • Archaeology
  • Paradigm
  • Aboriginal cultural sites

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