This paper provides an overview of the socio-spatial properties ofAboriginal settlements, in both pie-contact (traditional) and post-contact(semi-sedenterized) contexts. The earlier ethnographic literature providesexamples of the division of settlements into spatial zones each occupied by anaggregate of domiciliary groups and possessing some common social identityand characteristic social structure. Several competing hypotheses weregenerated to explain such structures. However anthropological researchduring the last two decades indicates that such sociospatial patterns are farmore complex and based on a diverse range of generative principles, someregional in context, others widespread across the continent.The analysis is based on 15 case studies. These yield a number of categoriesof generative principles, used in large camps of up to 500 people: (I)avoidance behaviour prescriptions between certain kin, (ii) clusteringbased on economic dependence, (iii) clustering based on affiliations betweenmembers of language groups, patricians (or lineages), other groupsintermediate to the previous two in terms of their sociogeographicdefinition, and class divisions, (iv) orientation of clusters in the directionof their homelands. In many examples there were from two to four levelsof nested clustering, each based on a different sociospatialprinciple. Examination is made of some of the dynamic properties of thesesociospatial structures including the threshold size of camps requisite forsub-clustering and other types of internal transformations, Evidence isprovided of the manifestation of these soclospatial principles In other formsof camp behaviour, indicating a conscious awareness of these behaviouralnorms. Functional reasons underlying this phenomenon are summarized Inthe conclusion.