William Nichols, the NMP and the Murder of Aboriginal People at Irvinebank in 1884

By Lynley Wallis In an earlier blog post I wrote about the challenges of finding contemporary physical evidence of deaths from the colonial frontier, and why such efforts are often akin to looking for a needle in a haystack (cf. Litster and Wallis 2011). Despite this, there are some rare instances where the specific location […]

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Needles in Haystacks: Why Finding Massacres in the Australian Archaeological Record is So Challenging

By Lynley Wallis The publication of a map showing frontier massacre sites across Australia by eminent historian Professor Lyndall Ryan has generated enormous public interest in the past 12 months (Figure 1). The map represents a wonderful resource with substantive research behind it. However, users should be aware that the “massacre locations” shown on it (and most […]

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‘To be Seen and Not Heard’: Children and the NMP

By Lynley Wallis and Heather Burke Given the work with which they were routinely engaged, it is hard to reconcile the idea of a Native Mounted Police camp replete with happy children scampering through the bush, bursting with laughter. But in many cases this must have been a relatively common occurrence since, as we noted […]

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Shots Fired … But in What Direction and How do we Know?

By Tony Pagels  The role of the Native Mounted Police (NMP) was to control and disperse Aboriginal opposition to ensure European settlement was a success in Queensland (Qld).  This was achieved by the Force having the best available weapons and employing military-type tactics. But when a firearm was discharged 140 years ago how can we […]

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All buttoned up: archaeology in the outback

By Uschi Artym Why are there so many buttons? And what were all the metal tags used for? (see Figure 1.) These were just two of the many questions asked by Flinders University students and archaeologists between 3-9 July 2017, who were at the time taking part in an ‘Indigenous Archaeology Field School’ in western Queensland. Located approximately […]

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One-sided histories

By Jacinta Koolmatrie Between 2-9 July 2017 I participated in a Flinders University based field school in Boulia, Queensland as part of “The Archaeology of the Native Mounted Police” project. Fieldwork began on a Monday and started with an introduction by team member Associate Professor Heather Burke who explained what was currently known about the Boulia Native […]

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