The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria is a group that promotes the study of archaeology, anthropology, ethno-archaeology and ethno-history in both Australia and further abroad. Lectures, from a range of talented presenters, are held every third Thursday of the month at 6:30pm at the The Kathleen Syme Library & Community Centre – 251 Faraday St, Carlton.
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 Next Lecture – Thursday 21st of March, 2019.

Studying Indigenous Astronomical Knowledge: challenges of the physical and social scientist.

Presented by Dr Duane Hamacher
Senior Research Fellow, Monash Indigenous Studies Centre, Monash University

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have long developed and maintained complex knowledge systems about the Sun, Moon, and stars, which have been passed down through oral tradition over millennia. Our current understanding of this knowledge is based largely on the work of anthropologists and archaeologists. But historically, this posed a number of problematic challenges. Largely dismissed by physical scientists, and with social scientists often lacking training in astronomy, studies of Indigenous Knowledge were subject to misidentifications, conflated concepts, and incorrect conclusions that have long plagued the discipline of cultural astronomy, and resulted in feeding false information back to Indigenous communities. How can we address these issues and better train the next generation of researchers and educators? Cultural astronomer Dr Duane Hamacher will discuss these issues and highlight exciting new collaborations with community elders that are revealing a wealth of new traditional knowledge about the cosmos.

Dr Duane Hamacher is an astronomer and academic with training in archaeology and anthropology, and degrees in physics, astronomy, and Indigenous Studies. He has worked with Indigenous communities across Australia and Asia for a decade, and in 2014 was awarded an ARC DECRA Fellowship to study the astronomy of the Meriam people of Murray Island in the eastern Torres Strait.


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We advise all members that AASV now has two mailing addresses. Membership address: PO Box 200, Benalla VIC 3672.

General Correspondence and Artefact subscription enquiries: PO Box 203, Carlton VIC 3053.