Journal article

2000 Year-old Bogong moth (Agrotis infusa) Aboriginal food remains, Australia.

Birgitta Stephenson, Bruno David, Joanna Fresløv, Lee J Arnold, undefined GunaiKurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Fiona Petchey, Chris Urwin, Vanessa NL Wong, Richard Fullagar, Helen Green, Jerome Mialanes, Matthew McDowell, Rachel Wood, John Hellstrom

Nature Scientific Reports | Nature Research | Published : 2020


Insects form an important source of food for many people around the world, but little is known of the deep-time history of insect harvesting from the archaeological record. In Australia, early settler writings from the 1830s to mid-1800s reported congregations of Aboriginal groups from multiple clans and language groups taking advantage of the annual migration of Bogong moths (Agrotis infusa) in and near the Australian Alps, the continent's highest mountain range. The moths were targeted as a food item for their large numbers and high fat contents. Within 30 years of initial colonial contact, however, the Bogong moth festivals had ceased until their recent revival. No reliable archaeological..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Elder Russell Mullett and the GunaiKurnai Elders Council, the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (project CE170100015) for funding, and the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre at Monash University and EDYTEM at the Universite Savoie Mont Blanc for research support. The OSL dating research was partly supported by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (project FT130100195) awarded to L.J.A. We thank Eric Warrant and Ajay Narendra for Fig. 1, CartoGIS Services at the Australian National University for Fig. 2, and Martin and Vicky Hanman for assistance in Buchan.