Aboriginal people have occupied Australia for at least the past 40,000 years, with the Torres Strait Islands forming approximately 12,000 years ago. This page presents an overview of how to find material relating to the archaeology of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Library's collection.


Australian Heritage Bibliography Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Subset - AHB-ATSIS (Onsite only eResource)
This bibliographic database contains indexes and abstracts articles from published and unpublished material on Australia's natural and cultural environment relating specifically to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples.

New South Wales Archaeology Online (Freely available eResource)
New South Wales Archaeology Online provides digitised versions of unpublished reports concerning places of significant cultural heritage in New South Wales. Many of the reports and photographs document Aboriginal archaeological works undertaken by consultants or students.

Informit (Licensced eResource - Library card required - click here to apply)
Informit is a full and partial text database available to registered National Library patrons through the Library's eResources. Full text archaeology journals, such as Rock Art Research: The Journal of the Australian Rock Art Research Association (AURA), Australasian Historical Archaeology and Australian Archaeology can be accessed through Informit.

Browsing the catalogue by subject

  • select the Browse alphabetically tab
  • choose subjects from the drop-down list
  • Type your keywords in the search bar

Some examples of Browse/Subjects searches are:

Alternatively, you can perform a general keyword search of the catalogue.

Selected Print Resources

The list below presents a few selected works from the Library's Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander print resources which relate to the archaeology of Australia.

Appropriated pasts: Indigenous peoples and the colonial culture of archaeology (2005)
Examines the blatant and subtle colonial nature of archaeological practice and theory. Particular emphasis on Australian archaeology is provided through case studies, with parrallels drawn from case studies from North America, Africa and elsewhere.

Archaeology of Aboriginal Australia : a reader / edited by Tim Murray (1998)
The Archaeology of Aboriginal Aboriginal Australia is a landmark body of work which features essays and key contributions from leading researchers across a range of archaeology's sub-disciplines including early settlement of Australia by Aboriginal people, radiocarbon dating, Pleistocene and Holocene occupation of Australia, symbolic burial practices and rock art.

Fantastic dreaming : the archaeology of an Aboriginal mission / Jane Lydon (1998)
Fantastic dreaming explores the life of the Wergaia people prior to European settlement. Through historical and archaeological investigations, Lydon explores the spatial politics of colonialism, the control and influence exerted over Aboriginal people by missionaries, and current attitudes and opinions towards Ebenezeer Mission held by the Wergaia people.