The Shore Whalers of Western Australia: Historical Archaeology of a Maritime Frontier
Sydney University Press in association with the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology
Every winter between 1836 to 1879 small wooden boats left the bays of southwest Western Australia to hunt for migrating Humpback and Right whales. In the early years of European settlement these small shore whaling parties and the whale oil they produced were an important part of the colonial economy, yet over time their significance diminished until they virtually vanished from the documentary record.
Using archival research and archaeological evidence, The Shore Whalers of Western Australia examines the history and operation of this almost forgotten industry on the remote maritime frontier of the British Empire and the role of the whalers in the history of early contact between Europeans and Aboriginal people.
Dr Martin Gibbs is a senior lecturer in the Department of Archaeology of the University of Sydney and the President of the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology.