This book places the Aboriginal occupation of Australia within a broad framework of human evolution and habitation. The author discusses the pioneering studies that delve into the mists of antiquity, and he engages with current controversies, including the extinction of mega fauna, land management practices, and social development over many millennia. The extraordinary achievements of Australian Aborigines are revealed in all their complexity and the evidence surrounding the identity of Australia’s first occupants is re-examined. The discovery of the ‘Hobbits’ of the island of Flores show that proto-humans were edging towards the great southern continent; their capacity to cross the sea implies intelligence and organisation, but how far did their footsteps extend? This is just one of many challenging questions brought to life in this absorbing account of Australia’s pre-contact history.