Fatal frontier: temporal and spatial considerations of the Native Mounted Police and colonial violence across Queensland

Wallis, Lynley and Burke, Heather and Barker, Bryce and Cole, Noelene (2021) Fatal frontier: temporal and spatial considerations of the Native Mounted Police and colonial violence across Queensland. In: The Oxford handbook of the archaeology of Indigenous Australia and New Guinea. Oxford Handbooks Online. Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 1-29.


Abstract

Over the past two decades, archaeologists have explored aspects of Indigenous agency to better encompass experiences of cross-cultural contact in colonial Australia. Yet the area of frontier conflict has largely remained the purview of historians, in part because of challenges in identifying such events archaeologically. One alternative means through which to consider frontier conflict is to investigate the material remains of colonial policing forces. This article focuses on the camps of the Native Mounted Police, a paramilitary government force that operated in Queensland from 1849 (before the state was officially established) until the early decades of the twentieth century. During this period, this force variously occupied 174 camp sites across Queensland, spread unevenly across pastoral and biogeographic districts. By mapping known events of frontier conflict (whether they be attacks on Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal people, stock, and/or property) across the state, we demonstrate that the extent and nature of frontier conflict was highly variable spatially and temporally, and was tied into a largely negative feedback loop with the deployment of the Native Mounted Police. Although Native Mounted Police camps did not form a defensive cordon of structures akin to a ‘frontier line’ across Queensland, they demarcated a frontier ‘zone’ that was contested, precarious, and violent. The fact that so many camps were required for such a long period provides clear evidence of the persistent and determined resistance of Aboriginal peoples to the theft of their land and the bloodshed that resulted.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Heritage and Culture (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Mar 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2021 02:21
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2021 02:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: frontier conflict, historical archaeology, cross-cultural, Queensland, Aboriginal peoples
Fields of Research (2008): 21 History and Archaeology > 2101 Archaeology > 210108 Historical Archaeology (incl. Industrial Archaeology)
21 History and Archaeology > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169902 Studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Society
Fields of Research (2020): 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430302 Australian history
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430107 Historical archaeology (incl. industrial archaeology)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9503 Heritage > 950399 Heritage not elsewhere classified
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280123 Expanding knowledge in human society
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280113 Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
21 INDIGENOUS > 2104 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture > 210499 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and culture not elsewhere classified
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130703 Understanding Australia’s past
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280114 Expanding knowledge in Indigenous studies
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190095611.013.4
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/41374

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