Macquarie University
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Between discovery and deep time: a study of the cultural representations of Mungo Man

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posted on 2022-03-28, 12:11 authored by Amy Way
After decades of sub-disciplines that have moved away from grand narratives and long-term trends, some of Australia's leading historians are now embracing frameworks that look beyond traditional history in big ways: through the geological concept of 'deep time', historians can place narratives within deeper histories of the human species, the earth, and even the universe. This interest in deep history has not been limited to academia, with a similar explosion in public interest around Australia's deep human past and its potential to re-shape national narratives. At the heart of deep time in Australia is Mungo Man: the 50,000-year-old Pleistocene skeleton found in 1974. Yet, despite his prominent role in both academic history and public discussion, there has been no examinationof Mungo Man's image and narrative function. This study seeks to unpack the representations of Mungo Man in history and public discourse. How is Mungo Man represented by academics and the general public? How have these representations varied since his discovery in 1974? And why is it only now that he has begun to be integrated into historical research and public discussion? This study will provide essential context on the recent surge of interest in Mungo Man, deep time, and the powerful resonance they lend Australian history today and in the future.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter One: Discovery -- Chapter Two: Deep Time -- Chapter Three: The Meaning of Mungo Man -- Conclusion.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 90-98

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Department, Centre or School

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Alison Holland


Copyright Amy Way 2016. Copyright disclaimer:




New South Wales


1 online resource (iii, 98 pages)

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