Australian Museum Journal Changing Perspectives in Australian Archaeology, part II. Abydos Plain—equivocal archaeology

Shortform:
Sullivan et al., 2011. Tech. Rep. Aust. Mus., Online 23(2): 7–29
Author(s):
Sullivan, Marjorie; Hughes, Philip; Barham, Anthony
Year published:
2011
Title:
Changing Perspectives in Australian Archaeology, part II. Abydos Plain—equivocal archaeology
Serial title:
Technical Reports of the Australian Museum (online)
Volume:
23
Issue:
2
Start page:
7
End page:
29
DOI:
10.3853/j.1835-4211.23.2011.1567
Language:
English
Date published:
17 June 2011
Cover date:
17 June 2011
ISSN:
1835-4211
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Subjects:
ABORIGINES: AUSTRALIAN; ARCHAEOLOGY; CULTURE: INDIGENOUS
Digitized:
17 June 2011
Available online:
17 June 2011
Reference number:
1567
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (38kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (1066kb PDF)

Abstract

The difficulty of distinguishing between Aboriginal shell middens and natural shell deposits has been addressed in various settings. On the Abydos Plain near Port Hedland in northern Western Australia, archaeologists have generally not acknowledged this issue and have ascribed a cultural origin to most shell deposits. Recent investigations have demonstrated that episodic cyclones or storm waves on the coastal marshes have deposited or re-deposited shells that are similar in appearance to midden deposits, and that previous interpretations of the archaeology of the Plain are not justified. A geo-archaeological approach is essential to reveal the stratigraphic sequences and palaeo-processes which have controlled the formation of shell features on the Plain.

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