Variability in the chronology of late Holocene aboriginal occupation on the arid margin of Southeastern Australia

Simon J. Holdaway*, Patricia C. Fanning, Martin Jones, Justin Shiner, Dan C. Witter, Geoff Nicholls

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Analysis of 28 radiocarbon determinations obtained from the excavation of heat retainer hearths from Sturt National Park in western New South Wales, indicates Aboriginal occupation of the arid margin of Australia during the last 1700 years. The determinations show two phases of hearth construction separated by a period of at least 200 years, and possibly 400 years, when no hearths were constructed. Palaeoenvironmental and archaeological evidence is reviewed in an effort to account for the late Holocene dates from the hearths and the existence of the hiatus in hearth construction. Despite the close match between the hiatus and the so-called Medieval Warm Period, caution is required before extrapolating the results from an archaeological study of a small geographic region to the continent as a whole.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-363
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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