Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Chronological trends in late Holocene shell mound construction across northern Australia: Insights from Albatross Bay, Cape York Peninsula
Contributor(s): Morrison, Michael  (author)
Publication Date: 2014-12
DOI: 10.1080/03122417.2014.11682014
Handle Link:
Abstract: Shell mound sites dating from the mid-Holocene and containing very large numbers of the estuarine bivalve Anadara granosa are found across northern Australia. It has recently been proposed that the economic, social and cultural practices linked to their formation ceased some 500-700 years ago across northern Australia as a result of environmental changes leading to the substantially reduced availability of A. granosa. This has been used in support of arguments that ethnographic data are irrelevant to archaeological interpretations of shell mound sites. The Albatross Bay region, Cape York Peninsula, has been cited as one area potentially showing a continuity of mound building after 500-700 cal. BP; however, radiocarbon data for the region have not been reviewed in the context of this debate. This paper reviews both new and previously published radiocarbon determinations from shell matrix sites at Albatross Bay and integrates these with newly available site data for the region. Analysis of this dataset shows a dramatic increase in mound construction activity during the last millennium, continuing up until ca 200 cal. BP. This shows that shell mound construction did not universally cease across northern Australia at 500-700 cal. BP. This paper calls for further refinement of the broader model via the development of more nuanced, regionally specific models.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Archaeology, 79(1), p. 1-13
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 2470-0363
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology
210102 Archaeological Science
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 450101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander archaeology
450102 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artefacts
430101 Archaeological science
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 130703 Understanding Australia’s past
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages: Y24 Thaynakwith
Y32 Alngith
Y36 Ngkoth
Y39 Ntra'ngith
Y23 Wimaranga
Y185 Awngthim
Y30 Ladamngid
Y34 Aritinngithigh
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Files in This Item:
1 files
File SizeFormat 
Show full item record


checked on Sep 2, 2023

Page view(s)

checked on Mar 7, 2023


checked on Mar 7, 2023
Google Media

Google ScholarTM



Items in Research UNE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.