Black, Dr Eustace Couper (AA 31)

Dr Eustace Couper Black

Born: 28 February 1886, Adelaide, South Australia
Died: 12 November 1971, Adelaide, South Australia

Dr Eustace Couper Black, the son of the eminent South Australian botanist, John McConnell Black, graduated in medicine at Adelaide University in 1910. He subsequently travelled to the United Kingdom where he worked as a medical practitioner. When World War I was declared, he enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps and later served in France and East Africa. He married Julia Dixon in England during the war and returned with her to Adelaide in 1920. He was subsequently employed as a lecturer at the University of Adelaide and anaesthetist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Adelaide Children’s Hospital.

Black participated in the Board for Anthropological Research (BAR, AA 346) expeditions to the Granites in 1936, Nepabunna in 1937 and Ooldea in 1939, assisting with the recording of anthropometric data and blood testing. During subsequent decades, Black recorded numerous Australian Aboriginal sites in the Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, River Murray, Coorong, South-East, Mid-North, Yorke Peninsula, Eyre Peninsula, Port Augusta and Flinders Ranges regions. He also investigated sites in the Broken Hill area and others along the upper Murray and Darling Rivers. During the 1940s Black carried out a detailed survey of Aboriginal scarred trees along the Finniss River and in the late 1960s he carried out surveys of scarred trees and other Aboriginal sites in the Chowilla area, with Robert Edwards. In 1966, he assisted in archaeological excavations at Lake Robe in the South-East of South Australia. In the following year he assisted with excavations at Koonalda Cave on the Nullarbor Plain. Black suffered a stroke early in 1971 and died later that year.

The South Australian Museum Archives contains field notebooks, archaeological and anthropological data, manuscripts and reference materials, photographs and maps.

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