Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia by Billy Griffiths

deep time dreaming book cover

Judges' Comments 

Writing with clarity and insight, Billy Griffiths in Deep Time Dreaming presents the untold story of Australian archaeology, showing the transformative role it played by showing Australians that the history of their country began with indigenous culture more than 60,000 years before British settlement. Archaeologists achieved nothing less than a seismic shift in Australian historical consciousness by ensuring that Aboriginal history, to quote Griffiths, ‘moved from the periphery of the national story to its centre’.

Billy Griffiths’ book fills a critical gap in our understanding of Australia. Never before has there been a voice to explain the important part played by archaeology in Australian culture. Archaeology stopped the damming of the Franklin River — the biggest environmental controversy in Australia’s history — challenged perceptions of wilderness and empowered Indigenous activists by proving that their links to country went back tens of thousands of years. This beautifully written book is ultimately a revelation, showing that the influence of archaeology on the Australian consciousness has been far greater than anyone could have guessed.