Department of Archaeology, Flinders University
Dig It: The Journal of the Flinders Archaeological Society
Volume 2, Issue 1, June 2014
Print: ISSN 1440-2475
Online: ISSN 2203-1898
This paper analyses the contribution of stone artefact studies, or ‘lithic analyses,’ to understandings about the Indigenous occupation of Australia. It explores their significance in informing about both the timing of initial colonisation and the nature of the subsequent spread of settlement. Lithic analyses are discussed as having been central in providing evidence for spatial and temporal occupation of regions around the country. A case study from the mid-Holocene is examined for its value in demonstrating a manner of response by Indigenous people to changing environmental conditions. Stone artefact studies are seen to inform valuably about past Indigenous lifestyles and an example from north Queensland outlines much about the nature of trade and exchange between groups. Specific approaches to the study of stone artefacts are examined, such as use-wear and residue analyses and a more anthropological perspective known as the chaîne opératoire.
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