Budj Bim Cultural Landscape – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Budj Bim Cultural Landscape – UNESCO World Heritage Site


Hey everyone, welcome to World Heritage Journey. For today’s video, we’re at Budj Bim Cultural
Landscape, in Victoria, southern Australia. So this is a really interesting World Heritage
Site and one that’s unique for Australia, because it’s the only fully cultural World Heritage Site in
Australia, entirely devoted to indigenous Australians. And what is it? Well, it’s an aquaculture landscape: fish
farming, that sustained the indigenous populations of the area for thousands and thousands of
years. Let’s check it out. Tucked away in an isolated corner of southern
Australia, Budj Bim consists of several components. The largest area is a series of river channels
and wetlands, formed by lava flowing from the long-extinct Budj Bim volcano down to
the sea. After the final eruption about 30,000 years
ago, the local Gunditjmara tribe began a series of engineering works to create channels, canals,
weirs and ponds. By diverting the water and funnelling it into
fish traps, the Gunditjmara created a stable year-round source of food: mostly kooyong,
a local species of eel. What’s fascinating is that this stable source
of food allowed the Gunditjmara to settle permanently in the area, constructing small
stone dwellings near their fish traps. The system was in use from at least 4000BC
until the 19th century, and is highly unusual in Aboriginal Australian culture. Since the Australian mainland doesn’t naturally
have domestic-able animals or crops, the indigenous populations survived and thrived for 60,000
years as nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes, except for small specific areas like Budj Bim. What a fascinating spot.

Author: Kevin Mason

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