Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/6689
Title: The importance of quartz in stone artefact assemblages: A technological analysis of five Aboriginal sites of the Coonabarabran/Warrumbungle region
Contributor(s): Gaynor, Patrick John (author); Beck, Wendy  (supervisor); Davidson, Iain  (supervisor)orcid ; Morwood, Michael (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 1997
Copyright Date: 1996
Open Access: Yes
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/6689
Abstract: Many stone artefact assemblages in Australia and indeed around the world, contain large percentages of quartz artefacts. The problems archaeologists experience with quartz assemblages, begin initially with the recognition of quartz artefacts. Then the next problem is finding attributes that can be used for analysing whole assemblages regardless of raw material. The main attributes used in conventional methods of assessing artefact technology are seldom found in quartz. These problems associated with analysing quartz artefacts are well known to archaeologists. These difficulties have been instrumental in leading most researchers to analyse only the fine grained artefacts in assemblages. Fine grained artefacts are made on flint, chert, jasper, mudstone, chalcedony or any other microcrystalline stone. Due to the infrequent analysis of quartz, the technology of quartz artefacts is poorly known in Australia and in many other parts of the world. Problems of quartz analysis may be overcome by specially selecting technological attributes that can be compared over different raw materials. Selected attributes are tested in this thesis in order to determine whether leaving out the quartz section of the assemblage would result in missing important behavioural conclusions. The relative importance of quartz in assemblages is thus assessed. This thesis analyses a stone assemblage with a large quartz component spanning 20,000 years from the Late Pleistocene to contact time from the Coonabarabran/Warrumbungle region of Northwestern NSW. Attributes applicable to quartz could be identified and linked to human behaviour, but these varied through time In addition spatial variation in five stone assemblages from the study area was analysed. Results from both analyses showed that there were some signs of human behaviour present in the fine grained assemblages that were not present in the quartz and vice versa. The importance of quartz in the Coonabarabran/Warrumbungle region is documented and put into a wider Australian context. As the technology of quartz is currently poorly known in Australia and the world, these findings will help researchers to better understand the importance of quartz to prehistoric knappers.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Rights Statement: Copyright 1996 - Patrick John Gaynor
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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Thesis Masters Research

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