Site icon Archaeology on the Frontier


This blog began as part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded project entitled ‘The Archaeology of the Native Mounted Police’, which commenced in early 2016 and was completed in 2020.  It continues through a subsequent ARC funded project, “Fugitive Traces: Reconstructing Yulluna experiences of the frontier”, which will commence in 2021.

The original project investigated a range of historical archaeological evidence for Native Mounted Police (NMP) life, including their activities, living and working conditions, the domestic and hierarchical arrangements in camps, and the oral histories held by Aboriginal and non-­Aboriginal people about troopers, officers, the camps and conflict. It explored the nexus between the NMP and local Aboriginal and non‐Aboriginal people by investigating the material evidence for the range of responses to the presence and activities of the NMP. It did this across key areas of Qld in order to examine the evolution of the NMP system, and the unfolding of the frontiers it created, across space and time.

The database created by the Archaeology of the Qld NMP project—including historical and archaeological data—can be accessed via

Our subsequent project focusses on oral histories held by an Aboriginal family whose history is deeply enmeshed with the Qld Native Mounted Police. This project aims to consider family history in the broader context of colonial settlement and the complexities of frontier conflict. Through a collaboration of Indigenous peoples, archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, museum curators and educators, the expected outcome will be the first sustained history of a hitherto elusive Aboriginal experience of the frontier. In doing so it will provide fresh insights into a contentious period in Australia’s past.

Clicking on this link, will direct you to to a list of all of our blog posts to date.

This blog is archived in Pandora, the Web Archive of the National Library of Australia.

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