In the midst of contemporary Melbourne it is difficult to imagine how it might have looked in 1836 when Europeans arrived. Is it possible to reconstruct those ‘lost environments’ of the past? What clues can be found in the historical record to guide historians to discover these ‘forgotten landscapes’?
Dr Gary Presland is an archaeologist and historian with a fascination for environmental history. The author of ‘The place for a village: how nature has shaped the city of Melbourne’ (2008), Presland is a wonderful guide to such documentary treasures as Robert Hoddle’s field notebooks from the 1830s and forties.