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Biographical entry Meehan, Betty Francis (1933 - )

AO

Born
1933
Bourke, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Anthropologist and Archaeologist
Alternative Names
  • Hiatt, Betty

Summary

Betty Meehan is an anthropologist whose research includes ethnohistoric and archaeological information. Her work on Tasmanian Aborigines focussed on their diet and economy, and her studies of their burial practices was the subject of her highly-regarded Masters thesis (1971). In the Northern Territory her research was on subsistence regimes in Arnhem Land communities, particularly role of shellfish. Her field work was done with collaboration from her husband Rhys Jones and the Anbarra people. The resultant book, Shell bed to shell midden (1982) made her internationally famous. Later areas of study included the Upper Daly River in the Northern Territory.

Details

Events

1975
Education - PhD, Australian National University
1977 - 1985
Career position - Research Fellow, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University
1984
Career position - President, Australian Archaeological Association
1985 - 1990
Career position - Anthropologist, Division of Anthropology, Australian Museum
1987 -
Award - Fellow, Australian Academy of the Humanities
1987 - 1994
Career position - Editor, Australian Archaeology
1990
Award - Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to education, particularly in the field of Australian prehistory
1991
Career position - Head, Aboriginal Section, Collections Management Division, National Museum of Australia
1991 - 1995
Career position - Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Section, Australian Heritage Commission
1995 - 1996
Career position - Honorary Associate, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
2001 -
Award - Life Member, Australian Archaeological Association
2001
Award - Centenary Medal for service to cultural heritage and as a distinguished archaeologist

Published resources

Books

  • Griffiths, Billy, Deep time dreaming: uncovering ancient Australia, Black Inc., Carlton, Vic., 2018, 376 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Meehan, Betty, 'Irreverent recollections of the making of an anthropologist', in Merlan, Francesca, Morton, John and Rumsey, Alan (eds), Scholar and sceptic: Australian Aboriginal studies in honour of L. R. Hiatt, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1997, pp. 11-27. Details
  • Meehan, Betty, 'The early life of a new chum 1941 - 1969', in Anderson, Atholl, Lilley, Ian and O'Connor, Sue (eds), Histories of Old Ages: Essays in Honour of Rhys Jones, Oandanus Books, Canberra, 2001, pp. 1-15. Details

Journal Articles

  • Bowdler, Sandra and Clune, Genevieve, 'That shadowy band: the role of women in the development of Australian archaeology', Australian Archaeology, vol. 50, 2000, pp. 276-35. Details
  • Oakes, Leonie, Meehan, Betty and Bolton, Lissant, 'Elsie McCarthy (nee Bramell)', Australian Archaeology, vol. 21, 1985, pp. 139-41. Details

Theses

  • Meehan, Batty, 'The form, distribution and antiquity of Australian Aboriginal burial practices', 2 vols, MA thesis, 1971. Details

Online Resources

See also

  • Lampert, R. J., 'Trends in Australian prehistoric research', Antiquity, vol. 49, 1970, pp. 197-206. Details
  • Lampert, R. J., 'Trends in Australian prehistoric research', Antiquity, vol. 49, 1975, pp. 197-206. Details

Helen Cohn