Refereed Article A revised sequence of backed artefact production at Capertee 3

Citation: Hiscock, P. & V. Attenbrow . 2004. A revised sequence of backed artefact production at Capertee 3. Archaeology in Oceania . 39. 94-99.


Re-analysis of the artefact assemblage from Capertee 3, an Australian rockshelter excavated by F.D. McCarthy in the 1950s and 1960s, yields a revised image of chronological changes in backed artefact production. A technologically-defined sample of backed retouched flakes gives a new depiction of the vertical distribution of backed artefacts in this site. Analysis of artefact weathering indicates most specimens were probably altered in situ, with minimal large-scale vertical displacement. Calibration of radiocarbon dates provides refined age-depth estimates for the site. The result is identification of backed artefacts up to 6000 to 7000 years old, documentation of many backed specimens prior to 3500 cal b.p., and observation of only a relatively brief period, between 1500 and 3500 cal b.p., in which backed artefact production rates were extremely high. Changes in production rates are similar to those previously reported from Upper Mangrove Creek.

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