Invisible histories

Excavating the buried past

Featured in

  • Published 20201103
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-53-5
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IMAGINE YOURSELF A bird, huge, flying out of time through a smoky sky, back, back through millennia. Further than your own memory, deeper than your instinct: about 226 million years. Gondwana floats, massive, around the polar south. Umbilical. The shape of Australia, the place that will one day be your home, is still lost, a speck in the supercontinent, just recognisable from above if you know what you’re looking for. Still, you beat through temperate air; from your high currents you can make out great mountains and gouged valleys, the shapes of trees, small plants – delicate, lacy – and horsetails, mosses. Tree ferns, woody conifers, seed-bearing ginkgos. And there, between swamp and mountain, early dinosaurs – therapods. Young, toothless.

There is nothing here like you, with your twentieth-first-century brain and avian eye. And nor, miraculously, is there anything like a human. Nothing, therefore, human-made or even planned. Nothing imagined. Nothing named. It is elemental.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at griffithreview@griffith.edu.au

Share article

More from author

From little things

ReportageDEBBIE KILROY WAS sitting quietly at home in Brisbane on the afternoon of 6 January 2019, scrolling through social media posts on her phone....

More from this edition

The heart of seeding First Nations sovereignty

GR OnlineThe demand for treaty – or, more accurately, the demand for many treaties – must be driven by the cultural authority of each sovereign First Nation. This process must be underpinned by cultural protocol and custom that recognises the many tribal clans within the First Nations.

A dream that cannot be denied

GR OnlineSoon after the walk-off, the protest became much more than a claim for equal wages. The modern-day Gurindji dream, so reasonably proposed, was that they would live on their land, their way. They dared pursue a dream of a new relationship with broader Australia – one where Gurindji and kartiya could live as mates.

Unit K13: Life and unrelated studies

GR OnlineCassie’s standing astride the Ducati, waiting under the street lamp that only works sometimes. It’s working right now. He takes off his helmet, kisses you once, then pushes the helmet down onto your head.

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.