Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Aboriginal People Built Water Tunnels
ABC Net ^ | 3-15-2006 | Judy Skatssoon

Posted on 03/15/2006 11:29:36 AM PST by blam

Aboriginal people built water tunnels

Judy Skatssoon
ABC Science Online
Wednesday, 15 March 2006

The rainbow serpent, a key Aboriginal Dreamtime creation symbol, is closely connected with Indigenous knowledge of groundwater systems (Image: Reuters)

Indigenous Australians dug underground water reservoirs that helped them live on one of the world's driest continents for tens of thousands of years, new research shows.

The study, which is the first of its kind, indicates Aboriginal people had extensive knowledge of the groundwater system, says hydrogeologist Brad Moggridge, knowledge that is still held today.

Some 70% of the continent is covered by desert or semi-arid land, which meant its original inhabitants needed to know how to find and manage this resource if they were to survive.

"Aboriginal people survived on one of the driest continents for thousands and thousands of years," says Brad Moggridge, who is from Kamilaroi country in northern New South Wales.

"Without water you die. They managed that water sustainably."

Moggridge, currently a principal policy officer in the New South Wales Department of Environment and Conservation, did his research as part of a Masters degree at the University of Technology, Sydney.

He based his work on oral histories, Dreamtime stories, rock art, artefacts and ceremonial body painting as well as written accounts by white missionaries, surveyors, settlers, anthropologists and explorers.

Managing scant resources

Moggridge says Indigenous Australians channelled and filtered their water, covering it to avoid contamination and evaporation. They also created wells and tunnel reservoirs.

"Groundwater was accessed through natural springs or people used to dig tunnels to access it," he says.

"Sometimes they'd dig till they found the water and then they'd build a system so they could access the water. Sometimes they've go fairly deep and people would slither down there and get their water."

Aboriginal people also used terrain, birdlife, vegetation and animals as markers for water, Moggridge says.

For example, they followed dingos to rock pools and waterholes while ants led them to subterranean reservoirs.

"They used the landscape," he says. "For example, you're in a dry area and all of a sudden there's a large number of ghost gums, so you'd think there must be some groundwater."

The Dreamtime

Aboriginal people's understanding of their groundwater system permeates Dreamtime stories, Moggridge says.

For example, the rainbow serpent is a key symbol of creation but its journey from underground to the surface also represents groundwater rising to the top via springs.

Moggridge says European settlers owed their subsequent knowledge of groundwater to local tribes and trackers, and even much of Australia's modern road system is based on water sources identified by the original inhabitants.

"A lot of the old roads in New South Wales are based on Aboriginal walking tracks ... and their water supply would have been along the way," he says.

The Desert Knowledge CRC is also trying to link traditional knowledge with science in terms of water management in central Australia, home to numerous remote Indigenous communities.

Current projects include looking at the cultural values of water, a spokesperson says


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aboriginal; built; godsgravesglyphs; people; tunnels; water

1 posted on 03/15/2006 11:29:41 AM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: blam

bump


2 posted on 03/15/2006 11:33:24 AM PST by lesser_satan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

GGG ping!


3 posted on 03/15/2006 11:33:56 AM PST by Pyro7480 (Sancte Joseph, terror daemonum, ora pro nobis!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


4 posted on 03/15/2006 11:35:32 AM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
All well and good, indicating that the Abo's were an intelligent race of people, who were able to understand quite well the harsh environment that they lived in and were able to make the most of what nature had provided them.

Who knows, maybe in a few thousand more years they may have progressed to the point where they might have caught up with our ancestors.

5 posted on 03/15/2006 11:36:39 AM PST by Michael.SF. (Well, Kerry did win the exit polls.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

Who are "our" ancestors?


6 posted on 03/15/2006 11:39:52 AM PST by SubGeniusX
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: blam

Did Frank Herbert know about this? In Dune the Fremen built large underground resevoirs so they could survive and maybe change the face of Arrakis.


7 posted on 03/15/2006 11:42:25 AM PST by aft_lizard (....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SubGeniusX
Who are "our" ancestors?

Those who built nations with high technologies (for the period) and complex political systems. Who do you think did that, or, were they not your ancestors?

8 posted on 03/15/2006 11:49:54 AM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.
"All well and good, indicating that the Abo's were an intelligent race of people, who were able to understand quite well the harsh environment that they lived in and were able to make the most of what nature had provided them."

I don't know. They were exposed to the bow and arrow thousands of years ago from New Gueinna(sp) and never adopted it.

9 posted on 03/15/2006 11:53:20 AM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: William Terrell; SubGeniusX
Well said, William.

I would also add that many civilizations of thousands of years ago were far more advanced then the aborigines of 300 years ago.

10 posted on 03/15/2006 1:15:48 PM PST by Michael.SF. (Well, Kerry did win the exit polls.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.
I would also add that many civilizations of thousands of years ago were far more advanced then the aborigines of 300 years ago.

Best way to describe them, the aborigines are hippies "living off the land".

11 posted on 03/15/2006 4:11:33 PM PST by glorgau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Pyro7480; blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; asp1; ...
Thanks Blam and Pyro7480.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

12 posted on 03/15/2006 10:10:29 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

He based his work on oral histories, Dreamtime stories, rock art, artefacts and ceremonial body painting as well as written accounts by white missionaries, surveyors, settlers, anthropologists and explorers.
GEORGE: Maybe I'll go down to the track. Put it all on a horse...

JERRY: Why don't you put it in the *bank*?

GEORGE: The *bank*? This is *found* money. I want to *parlay* it. I wanna make a big score!

JERRY: *Oh*, you mean you wanna *lose* it...
13 posted on 03/15/2006 10:14:24 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Yes indeed, Civ updated his profile and links pages again, on Monday, March 6, 2006.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Read about the Qanats of Iran.

http://users.bart.nl/~leenders/txt/qanats.html


14 posted on 03/15/2006 10:17:42 PM PST by djf (I'm not Islamophobic. But I am bombophobic! If that's the same, freakin deal with it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

LOL...no no don't you know

they were superior to my wicked white european ancestors who only built aqueducts and whatnot for water distribution

culture is interesting but it ain't relative


wheels anyone?


15 posted on 03/15/2006 10:20:58 PM PST by wardaddy ("she's so FINE there's no telling where the money went.".........all my exes are hexes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: William Terrell

Ouch Bill...a little candor is hard for folks


16 posted on 03/15/2006 10:21:53 PM PST by wardaddy ("she's so FINE there's no telling where the money went.".........all my exes are hexes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: blam

Bump


17 posted on 03/15/2006 10:25:20 PM PST by Dustbunny (Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. - Will Rogers)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy
wheels anyone?

See Jared Diamond Guns, Germs, Steel

Lack of a domesticatable dtaft animal handicap. Neither the Kangaroo nor the Wombat seems a suitable candidate.

18 posted on 03/15/2006 10:27:51 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (Don't vote- it only encourages them)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Oztrich Boy
and I guess they never needed wheelbarrows either...wheels were not just for livestock....take a look at old Egyptian and Roman wheel work and see who's pulling those lines sometimes..lol

i love how folks equate primitives with more advanced civilizations...anything to dilute evil racist Meso-European quasi- Caucazoid civilization

we are all the same...repeat....we are all the same...everyting is equal...everything is equal

don't guess they coulda used a phonetic alphabet either...grunts being so organic and all?

I've lived in primitive areas...trust me...they exist and they do lag..for whatever reason but sometimes just because.

19 posted on 03/15/2006 10:35:47 PM PST by wardaddy ("she's so FINE there's no telling where the money went.".........all my exes are hexes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: djf
Qanats of Iran.

Same thing in Afghanistan.. traced in some cases, all the way back to China..
The use of deep wells and covered aquaducts to transport water and prevent evaporation of a scarce rescource is fairly widespread throughout the area...

20 posted on 03/16/2006 12:09:22 AM PST by Drammach (In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Drammach

One of the first Scientific American articles I can remember reading.

Used to sell seeds door to door in the spring to buy them.

I wouldn't spend a plugged nickel on the new, revamped, ultra politically correct SciAm's now.


21 posted on 03/16/2006 1:34:50 AM PST by djf (I'm not Islamophobic. But I am bombophobic! If that's the same, freakin deal with it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: djf

Politically correct??
You probably missed the current articles concerning creationists and ethics?

They ferociously attack creationists (im not a creationists) to the point that you begin to wonder why the editors waste their time on it instead of publishing something about, i dont know, SCIENCE?!

Even worse, the editors seem to enjoy putting the word "ethics" between quotations every time they use it, and they have even insinuated that ethics are all made up by opponents of science..

I don't read sciam anymore anyway, they report more and more about politics and how existence is pointless so nothing matters and less and less about science.
I suggest newscientist, although it rather lacks details in it's articles even more than sciam.


22 posted on 03/16/2006 2:48:59 AM PST by S0122017
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

There are more ways to progress than materialistic ways..
The vast majority of their culture and religion is kept behind close doors to this day, you shouldn't just them without knowing them. They may have a better understanding of existence then our descendants ever will.


23 posted on 03/16/2006 2:50:41 AM PST by S0122017
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy
and I guess they never needed wheelbarrows either...

It took Europe 4000 years after they had the wheel to figure out the concept of the wheelbarrow.

24 posted on 03/16/2006 3:00:30 AM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Tagline suffering from jet lag)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.; William Terrell
If your ancestors built a civilization from the ground up this must mean you two are either Middle Eastern, Chinese, Egyptian or Meso/South American.
25 posted on 03/16/2006 3:52:58 AM PST by Varda
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy
Sorry. . .

26 posted on 03/16/2006 4:04:41 AM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Varda
Could be any of those.

27 posted on 03/16/2006 4:06:26 AM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Varda
If your ancestors built a civilization from the ground up this must mean you two are either Middle Eastern, Chinese, Egyptian or Meso/South American.

Uh-oh...Call a vet. High Horse has gone gimpy. ;)

28 posted on 03/16/2006 4:51:08 AM PST by elli1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: S0122017
There are more ways to progress than materialistic ways..

Who said my statement was limited to materialism?

I suppose also the irony of being lectured about materialism from someone via this medium is lost on you.

29 posted on 03/16/2006 7:08:57 AM PST by Michael.SF. (Well, Kerry did win the exit polls.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Varda
this must mean you two are either Middle Eastern, Chinese, Egyptian or Meso/South American.

Actually, we could be anyone of about a dozen races who have contributed more to the betterment of mankind then the Abo's.

30 posted on 03/16/2006 7:11:58 AM PST by Michael.SF. (Well, Kerry did win the exit polls.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Harmless Teddy Bear; William Terrell
oh boy....another all cultures are relative revisionist one

what's your angle?

some sort of non-European origin and mad about it?

or just a fuzzy idealist?

Anthropological works these days exist only to "prove" biases that Caucazoid peoples were somehow worse or less developed than others (in the face of empirical observations glaringly obvious to the contrary) Usually, politically correct folks will claim Meso-Europeans were cruel, barbaric or stole whatever civilization benchmark they have customarily been credited with.

I suppose you too worship at the feet of Diamond as well....that environment is everything.

Btw...first picts of wheelbarrows are from China....whatever that proves.. it's only slightly more acceptable to credit Adavanced Asians with technological benchmarks over primitives since they are rapidly replacing or at least equalling Caucaziods in the West as achievers...so enjoy it while you can.

Chinese and Indo-Aryan accomplishments being able to be lauded will likely have a short shelf life as they too will be viewed as oppressors soon enough.

It's not about truth anymore. It's about explaining or excusing why some cultures lag....even though they simply do for a variety of reasons.

Cultural inequality is a fact, can't sweep it under the rug. All cultures have their edge in certain environments they are accustomed to

31 posted on 03/16/2006 7:14:07 AM PST by wardaddy ("she's so FINE there's no telling where the money went.".........all my exes are hexes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.
Who said my statement was limited to materialism? I suppose also the irony of being lectured about materialism from someone via this medium is lost on you.

I suppose the irony of repeatedly falling back to pointing out materialistic achievements after claiming you're statements are not limited to materialism is lost to you.
32 posted on 03/16/2006 7:19:17 AM PST by S0122017
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy
Anthropological works these days exist only to "prove" biases that Caucazoid peoples were somehow worse or less developed than others

?
But their evil remarks won't hurt you if you wear tin foil around you're head.
33 posted on 03/16/2006 7:23:35 AM PST by S0122017
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: S0122017
you're head.

I'm a head...lol...wel, admittedly I did smoke a bit of Marley in my youth.

34 posted on 03/16/2006 7:27:24 AM PST by wardaddy ("she's so FINE there's no telling where the money went.".........all my exes are hexes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy

That is correct english. You don't know you're own language?


35 posted on 03/16/2006 7:34:33 AM PST by S0122017
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: S0122017

Seeing as you lack sufficient understanding of you're own language, I like to propose that you keep you're opinions concerning other ethnicities and their mental abilities to yourselve.

I am quite certain the vast majority of aboriginals possess more knowledge of the english language then you seem to manifest, despite the fact that it is not their mother tongue.


36 posted on 03/16/2006 7:48:52 AM PST by S0122017
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

This article is about the knowledge the aborigines had about water in an extreme environment. The transmission of that knowledge to the early Australian settlers apparently helped that section of mankind and given the need to use water wisely in our western states it could help the American section of mankind.

The fact that a complex culture might glean something useful from a simple culture is nothing to put anyones panties in a knot.


37 posted on 03/16/2006 7:57:45 AM PST by Varda
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: S0122017

So it seems that it really IS spelled "youre head"...
My mistake, it ain't my language. I learned english partly from the internet, and there seems to be a lack of consistent spelling on the web.


38 posted on 03/16/2006 8:28:30 AM PST by S0122017
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: S0122017; Michael.SF.

It's "your" head revisionist foolio.

"you're" means you+are

let me guess ...another minority (foreigner I suppose) angle wishing to bloviate about evil less developed crackers?

warm regards

how old are you?...8?

btw...aborigines are great...relatively speaking...happy now?

or do you need more nuance and qualifying?

too funny...another canard spewing PC social liberal pretending on a conservative board

here's a link to a dictionary Einstein:

http://www.answers.com/topic/you-re


39 posted on 03/16/2006 8:33:00 AM PST by wardaddy ("she's so FINE there's no telling where the money went.".........all my exes are hexes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy

1) Im not american, and pretty certain my english is still
better then youre dutch.
2) It's shows a petty mind and even lousier personality to
not let the matter rest after I already admitted my
mistake.
3) If you consider everyone in disagreement with you
a 'socialist liberal', you will find this forum
to be chockablock with them.
4) Nice of you to now claim that aborigines
are 'relatively great'. I guess that is youre way of
admitting mistake, so I will let that matter rest.


40 posted on 03/16/2006 8:44:39 AM PST by S0122017
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: S0122017
Im not american

I will let that matter rest.

Thank God for small favors...and yes, your English is better than my Dutch since I don't speak Dutch although having been in Amsterdam and Rotterdam a bit in my youth I have nothing against the Dutch aside from their views on abortion and homosexuality and believe they may be awakening to their Muslim problem finally.

I speak Spanish and Portugese as well and spent 16 years abroad. You stereotype Americans and then rail when they do that to others.

Is that petty or arrogant?

My little brother loves your ganja and brothels btw..

41 posted on 03/16/2006 4:07:02 PM PST by wardaddy ("she's so FINE there's no telling where the money went.".........all my exes are hexes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: S0122017

and btw...I do apologize for picking on your language...I was replying to an earlier reply and had not seen your admission

sincere apologies on that...I don't mind arguing but I did not mean to pick on you.


42 posted on 03/16/2006 4:09:15 PM PST by wardaddy ("she's so FINE there's no telling where the money went.".........all my exes are hexes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy
Slightly touchy there aren't you?

I was just pointing out the unfairness of your sneer that "they should have developed the wheelbarrow" by pointing out while it is one of those ideas that seem obvious in retrospect even a culture that had extensive use of the wheel did not come up with the concept until rather recently.

I am aware that the idea did first come into being in China quite a while before the idea came to be in Europe. But as there is no direct evidence that it was an imported idea unlike the stirrup, the phonetic alphabet, the printing press, paper and so many other ideas adopted by Europeans from other areas of the globe that I prefer to leave open the possibility that it was actually invented independently.

43 posted on 03/16/2006 4:11:34 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Tagline suffering from jet lag)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Slightly touchy there aren't you?

don't much cotton to revisionists who mask their true motivations nor social engineering liberals

I've seen you around before...you always take the PC side on comparative culture or minority issues

fair enough

44 posted on 03/16/2006 4:30:40 PM PST by wardaddy ("she's so FINE there's no telling where the money went.".........all my exes are hexes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy
I take the side of truth rather then of some pretty fairy tale.

I don't believe that is PC.

I actively attempt to combat the PC mentality that every culture except the European Christian culture is "Spiritual/ Child of nature/holy holy"

But I also believe in studying cultures, learning and not disparaging their achievements.

Truth is my guide. The good, the bad and the ugly. But always the search for the true story.

As you say. Fair enough.

45 posted on 03/16/2006 4:44:06 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Tagline suffering from jet lag)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Harmless Teddy Bear
I actively attempt to combat the PC mentality that every culture except the European Christian culture is "Spiritual/ Child of nature/holy holy"

well damn...we have more in common than I thought...

46 posted on 03/16/2006 4:59:43 PM PST by wardaddy ("she's so FINE there's no telling where the money went.".........all my exes are hexes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy
abortion and homosexuality
Not on my wishlist list either.

I speak Spanish and Portugese as well and spent 16 years abroad. You stereotype Americans and then rail when they do that to others. Is that petty or arrogant?
I suppose my image of the 'American' is outdated.

My little brother loves your ganja and brothels btw..
He should, it is our main tourist attraction. We got to pay for all those abortions somehow!

I do apologize for picking on your language...
Cool. After all I tried to pick on you when i thought you had made the mistake.
47 posted on 03/17/2006 3:10:51 AM PST by S0122017
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson