Chapter 15 Question Set


1. List the physical and human features make Australia "stand out from all of the other continents?




2.  List at least 5 questions that Diamond intends to answer in this chapter?



3. What is the common, non-PC, characterization of "Native Australian soceities"?




4.  When were New Guinea and Australia connected?  Why?



5. How did New Guinean and Australian societies differ?




6.  When did New Guinea and Australia become inhabited by humans?  From where?  By what means?



7. What evidence suggests that after the initial wave of migration into New Guinea and Australia these populations remained isolated for thousands of years?



8.  When did New Guinea and Australia become separate land masses? 



9. Summarize the environmental differences between New Guinea and Australia.  Be specific and thorough.



10. In which physical environment(s) did agriculture emerge in Greater Australia?


Review New Guinea's introduced and indigenous food crops.  You learned about these in the 3rd question set.



11.  What evidence suggests that New Guinea experienced a population explosion that lasted at least until the 1930s?



12. List several reasons that explain why New Guinea's population explosion didn't lead to the development of metal tools, states, and epidemic diseases?



13. What is the evidence for New Guinea's long history of political fragmentation?



14.  What are the reasons that Native Australians did not develop agriculture?  Use the following terms in your answer: extinctions, ENSO, domesticable plants.



15. How was nomadism a "sensible" adaptation?



16. How did "firestick farming" work? What were other subsistence strategies?



17. So, "Why didn't Australia develop metal tools, writing, and politically complex societies?



18.  What factors explain Australia's technological regression?


19.  Why did Australia remain isolated for 40,000 years? 


20.  Why didn't significant diffusion occur across the Torres Strait?



21. Why did European settlement fail in New Guinea and not in Australia? 



22. Why didn't New Guineans suffer epidemics of diseases introduced by Europeans?



23. How did Europeans thrive in Australia?  And, why did Aborigines fare much worse than New Guineans?