Australian Museum Journal Trimmed pebble implements of Kartan type from ancient kitchen-middens at Clybucca, New South Wales

Shortform:
McCarthy, 1943, Rec. Aust. Mus. 21(3): 164–167
Author(s):
McCarthy, Frederick D.
Year published:
1943
Title:
Trimmed pebble implements of Kartan type from ancient kitchen-middens at Clybucca, New South Wales
Serial title:
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume:
21
Issue:
3
Start page:
164
End page:
167
DOI:
10.3853/j.0067-1975.21.1943.531
Language:
English
Plates:
plate xii
Date published:
28 June 1943
Cover date:
28 June 1943
ISSN:
0067-1975
CODEN:
RAUMAJ
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Digitized:
29 June 2009
Reference number:
531
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (136kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (872kb PDF)

Abstract

This preliminary note describes a small series of pebble implements from ancient kitchen-middens in the Kempsey district on the north coast of New South Wales. Mr. A. H. Voisey (1934, p. 94) described the site as follows: A heavy deposit of shells follows the somewhat irregular line of the old coast almost continuously from Grassy Head to Collombatti, keeping at about the same general height of ten feet above high-tide level. Ostrea cucullata and Area trapezia are the most common shells. An occasional gastropod is found, while human bones and pieces of flint have been reported from Collombatti. Most of the Area shells have been broken at the posterior margin, a circumstance indicating that the deposit represents not a raised beach, but an aboriginal kitchen-midden . . . it appears probable for the Kempsey area that the water in which the molluscs lived lapped the old cliffs during the human period, or, in other words, that the emergence which drove the sea eastwards occurred after the advent of the aborigines. During a reconnaissance to this locality in May 1940, I was able to examine part of these middens, which appear at present as grass-covered mounds extending for some miles along the bank of Clybucca Creek. They are composed of a closely packed mass of the shells of the most abundant gregarious molluscs of mud-flat habitat, the Drift Oyster (Ostrea cucullata), Cockle (Arca trapezia), Sydney Whelks (Pyrazus herculeus and australis), and the Sea Snail (Polinices strangei), the two former predominating. Mr. T. Iredale, Conchologist at the Australian Museum, has informed me that these molluscs develop in comparatively still water on tidal flats, a condition which existed at the time they were collected by the aborigines (Voisey, 1934, p. 101). The thickness of the deposits is considerable; one pit, dug by lime-burners who have carted away large quantities of the shells, has a face seven feet deep which did not expose the surface upon which the middens lie. Reddish coloured fires tones, suitable for crushing into pigment, are common among the shells. ... [etc.]