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The first stone and the last Tasmanian: the colonial correspondence of Edward Burnett Tylor and Henry Ling Roth
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-20, 07:57 authored by Rebe TaylorRebe Taylor
Between 1890 and 1905, Edward Burnett Tylor and Henry Ling Roth extended and formalised two ideas that were intricately connected and deeply influential to the development of nineteenth century anthropology: that the Tasmanian Aboriginal people represented the earliest phase of cultural evolution and that they were extinct. This paper offers a detailed archival exploration of the correspondence between 1891–1905 that informed those ideas. It finds that Tylor and Roth not only received abstracted facts and artefacts from their colonial contacts; they were directed and inspired by an emergent Australian scholarship that sought to propose and urge new disciplinary directions. This paper reveals not only the importance of Tasmanian Aboriginal people to the history of science, but the role that scientific ideas have shaped Australian social memory and national identity.
Department/SchoolCollege Office - College of Arts, Law and Education
Place of publicationUniv Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 2006
Rights statement© 2016 Oceania Publications This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Taylor, R., 2016. The first stone and the last Tasmanian: the colonial correspondence of Edward Burnett Tylor and Henry Ling Roth, Oceania, 86,(3), 320-343, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/ocea.5145. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.