Mike Smith (1955-2022), one of Australia’s great archaeologists and a wonderful friend of environmental history in this country and further afield, died in Canberra on Sunday 16 October. He was a generous friend and colleague to scholars from many disciplines in Australia and around the world. His efforts were also crucial in ensuring a prominent place for environmental history at the National Museum of Australia.
In recognition of both his remarkable accomplishments in advancing archaeological research as well as his commitment to building environmental history in Australia, the Australian Academy of Science and the National Museum of Australia named their student prize for history of Australian science and Australian environmental history after Mike. He was always generous with his attention to the next generation of scholarship, and many winners of the prize have noted Mike’s kind and engaged conversations with them.
Inside Story have republished Tom Griffiths’ wide-ranging essay and review of Mike’s magisterial book The Archaeology of Australia’s Deserts from 2013.
Image: Peter Eve.