May 2013

  • 23 May 2013

    The Science of Storytelling from our Pacific Neighbours

    The South Australian Museum's Curator of Foreign Ethnology Dr Barry Craig has been researching the Museum's Pacific collections since 1995. He is building a picture of life in the Pacific Islands during the late-19th and 20th centuries.

    By locating objects in the cultural contexts from which they came, and through the life-histories of the people who collected these things, local and international visitors to the Museum, and other researchers, we can better appreciate Pacific Islands cultures and arrive at a richer understanding of human nature.

    The South Australian Museum holds more than 17,000 items from the Pacific Islands, particularly from New Guinea, New Ireland, New Britain, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Fiji.

    Dr Craig draws on his field work experiences and 17,000 photographs taken in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu to inform his research projects and to write about Pacific Islands cultures.

  • 20 May 2013

    International Museum Day

    This week across the globe, more than 30,000 museums in 100 countries celebrate International Museum Day. The May 18 event invites us to look more closely at what a museum is and why it plays an essential role in the community. The South Australian Museum exists to educate, create, inspire and entertain by discovering and showcasing the wisdom of the world around us to our local and international visitors.

  • 10 May 2013

    Aboriginals in Excellent Health Prior to Contact

    The South Australian Museum is conducting exciting research into Aboriginal archaeological and burial sites on the State's Yorke Peninsula, which will tell us more about the diet and culture of people from up to 2000 years ago.

    South Australian Museum Archaeologist Dr Keryn Walshe is researching archaeology and human remains from the Narungga community, which were originally handed in to the Museum by local residents, farmers and holidaymakers up to a century ago.

    "We thought it would be a really good opportunity to return to the collections in the Museum - the skeletal material from the burials and the archaeology. Some of the archaeology material is 8000 years old and that made it so much more interesting because we could really begin to understand how people were living 8000 years ago on Yorke Peninsula."

    "We've also had 15 burials dated. The oldest is over 2000 years old and the most recent around 250 years old. These include both adult males and females and two children," said Dr Walshe.

  • 02 May 2013

    Technological Change and Alien Encounters

    "For about two million years all humans had were stone tools, but the technological change is accelerating – every generation has undergone more change than the last. Every technological invention facilitates a whole new set of possibilities, so the pace of human technological change is just going to get faster and faster."

    Human evolution in the digital age is a hot topic in scientific and social debates. This weekend, South Australian Museum Evolutionary Biologist Dr Mike Lee will present his ideas on how fast we adapt physically and mentally to our gadget-filled environment. This fascinating talk is part of TEDxAdelaide on Saturday 4 May titled Technological change and alien encounters: lessons from the fossil record.

    Dr Lee will use evidence from the fossil record and important evolutionary events such as the Cambrian Explosion and dinosaur extinctions, to suggest interesting ideas on the future of human evolution, as well as evolution on alien worlds.