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Cultural and Ethnic Groupings

The draft classification of cultural and ethnic groupings presented in AHAD has been adapted from Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG), 2011 (released 16/08/2011) (

ASCCEG is designed to be used for the classification of information relating to topics such as ancestry, ethnic identity, and cultural diversity. For the purposes of ASCCEG ‘ethnicity’ refers to the shared identity or similarity of a group of people on the basis of one or more factors, including but not limited to:

  • a long shared history, the memory of which is kept alive
  • a cultural tradition, including family and social customs, sometimes religiously based
  • a common geographic origin, language, literature or religion
    • being a minority or being racially conspicuous.

As ASCCEG is designed to capture present-day cultural diversity, its segregates and identifies a number of cultural and ethnic groups according to modern-day geo-political divisions. Some of groupings were not prominent, nor relevant or may have had a different meaning in the historic period in which archaeological resources were formed. For example, affiliation with an ‘Australian’ cultural identity in the 19th century incorporated a strong affiliation with being British. While some groupings (e.g. Australian and British) have been presented in full, other large groupings have been aggregated to reflect the dominance of British and European migration to Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries.

None of the terms is mutually exclusive. For example, a currency lad living in colonial New South Wales may be both ‘Australian’ and ‘Irish’, or ‘Australian’, ‘Irish’ and ‘Scottish’ owing to their ancestry, for example.

It is intended that the AHAD classification be revised with terms better suited to the cultural subdivisions of the people known to occupy historical archaeological sites in Australasia, and to better support current research into ethnicities in historical archaeology. All feedback is welcome.

Australian Includes affiliation with present day and colonial (pre-1901) Australian culture (ASCCEG 1101, as adapted by AHAD)
Australian Aboriginal Includes affiliation with Aboriginal peoples throughout Australia (ASCCEG 1102)
Australian South Sea Islander Includes affiliation with South Sea Islander people throughout Australia (ASCCEG 1103)
Torres Strait Islander Includes affiliation with Torres Strait Islander people (ASCCEG 1104)
Maori Includes affiliation with all Maori people through New Zealand (ASCCEG 1201)
New Zealander Includes affiliation with present day and colonial (pre-1907) New Zealand culture (ASCCEG 1202, as adapted by AHAD)
Oceanian (Other) Melanesian, Papuan, Micronesian or Polynesian (ASCCEGs 13, 14, 15)
English Affiliation with British people born or raised in England (ASCCEG 2101)
Scottish Affiliation with British people born or raised in Scotland (ASCCEG 2102)
Irish Affiliation with British people born or raised in Ireland (ASCCEG 22, as adapted by AHAD)
Welsh Affiliation with British people born or raised in Wales (ASCCEG 2103)
British (Other) Other British ethnic groupings (Channel Islander, Manx) or if specific grouping listed above is unknown (ASCCEG 21, 2104, 2105, 2199)
Western European Austrian, Dutch, Flemish, French, German, Swiss, Belgian and other groups (ASCCEG 23)
Northern European Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish  (ASCCEG 24)
Southern European Italian, Portuguese, Spanish among others  (ASCCEG 31)
South Eastern European Albanian, Bosnian, Greek and other groups (ASCCEG 32)
Eastern European Czechoslovakian, Polish, Russian and other groups (ASCCEG 33)
North African And Middle Eastern Includes Arab ethnic groups (Algerian, Egyptian, Iraqi among others), Jewish, Peoples of the Sudan, Turkish, Coptic, Assyrian and other groups (ASCCEG 4)
South-East Asian Burmese, Thai, Cambodian, Indonesian and others (ASCCEG 5)
North-East Asian Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean and others(ASCCEG 6)
Southern And Central Asian Indian, Sri Lankan, Pakistani, Afghani and others (ASCCEG 7)
North American American, Canadian, French Canadian, African American, Hispanic (North American), Native North American Indian, Bermudan (ASCCEG 81)
South and Central American Includes Argentinean, Bolivian, Brazilian, Mexican, Guatemalan, and Caribbean Islanders, among others (ASCCEG 82, 83, 84)
Sub-Saharan African Includes Central, West, South and East African ethnic groups (ASCCEG 9)

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