Recent erosion in arid regions of western NSW has exposed large areas that are scattered with stone artefacts manufactured by Aboriginal people in prehistory. These exposures offer an opportunity for archaeologists to study the artefacts abandoned by Aboriginal people through time and to compare those artefacts that accumulate in different parts of the landscape. To reconstruct the nature of prehistoric behaviour in the rangelands, two approaches are needed. First, the geomorphological context of the artefacts needs to be considered since exposure of the artefacts is a function of landscape history. Second, large areas (measured in thousands of square metres) and large numbers of artefacts need to be considered if patterns reflecting long-term abandonment behaviour by Aboriginal people are to be identified. This paper reports on the Western New South Wales Archaeological Program (WNSWAP) which was initiated in 1995 to study surface archaeology in the rangelands. Geomorphological studies are combined with artefact analysis using geographic information system software to investigate Aboriginal stone artefact scatters and associated features such as heat retainer hearths, in a landscape context. Results suggest that apparently random scatters of stone artefacts are in fact patterned in ways which inform on prehistoric Aboriginal settlement of the rangelands.
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|
- Aboriginal stone artefacts
- Landscape archaeology