Landscape Learning in Colonial Australia: Technologies of Water Management on the Central Highlands Goldfields
Water was a crucial but often limited resource on the goldfields of central Victoria in the nineteenth century, and miners quickly developed a range of techniques to respond to water scarcity. This paper uses a landscape learning model to examine these human/environmental interactions in the recent past. It combines archaeological and historical evidence to understand and interpret cultural changes to natural landscapes, especially in relation to water management in colonial Australia. A range of archaeological features preserved in the landscape reveal responses to the challenges posed by climate and topography when capturing, storing, transporting and using water for industrial, agricultural and domestic purposes. Water in this context provides a focus for exploring the complex relationships between people and the natural world, integrating evidence of small-scale, local activities with broader transformations of physical environments.