Australia’s first maritime archeological site has been called into question

Първият археологически обект на морски аборигени в Австралия е поставен под въпрос

Map of the Dampier archipelago (Murujuga) showing the location of the areas mentioned in the text. (Contains modified data from Copernicus Sentinel [2020] edited by Sentinel Hub). credit: Geoarchaeology (2022). DOI: 10.1002 / gea.21917

A new study from the University of Western Australia has challenged previous claims that Aboriginal stone artifacts found off the coast of Pilbara in Western Australia are the first undisturbed underwater archeological site in Australia.

The original findings were made in a study published in 2020 FLAT FIRSTby a team of archaeologists and scientists from Flinders University, UWA, James Cook University, ARA (Airborne Research Australia) and York University.

The team partnered with Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation to locate and study the scattered stones in two locations in the Dampier archipelago.

The “underwater” sites at Cape Brugier included hundreds stone tools found in an area that was a drought many thousands of years ago.

Co – author of a new article published in Geoarchaeology, the geoarchaeologist Dr. Ingrid Ward of the UWA School of Social Sciences said she disputed two key claims made in the original document – that the artifacts were “permanently submerged” and that they were “in situ” and not moved after their initial delay.

“In fact, the artifacts are found in a canal located well above the lowest tide, so they are not constantly submerged,” he said. Said Ward.

“Furthermore, past and present oceanographic and sediment transport processes show that lithium artifact the spills were almost certainly moved by waves and currents away from where they were first dumped. “

The new study was conducted in collaboration with Dr. UWA. Pierce Larcombe, Ph.D. Peter Ross of Flinders University and Dr. Chris Fandry of RPS Energy.

The multidisciplinary team examined the assumptions and statements made in the original document, concluding that the analysis was insufficient to substantiate its findings.

“It remains unclear how old the artifacts are – they may be 200 years old, 2,000 years old or 20,000 years old – at this stage it is completely unknown,” said Dr. Said Ward.

However, she said we can still learn a lot from the redesigned sites.

“For everyone archeological sites“The scientific narrative depends on a defensible interpretation, which means understanding the processes that have shaped the objects we find today,” she said.

“Science is advancing through repetitive cycles of research, publication, challenge and correction, and ideas that provoke ideas are a normal part of health science. Archaeological research on local coastal and marine sites in Australia is still at an early stage.”


Aboriginal artifacts reveal the first ancient underwater cultural sites in Australia


More info:
Ingrid Ward et al., Applying Geoarchaeological Principles to Marine Archeology: Reassessing the “First Marine” and “On-Site” Lithium Scattered in the Dampier Archipelago, NW Australia, Geoarchaeology (2022). DOI: 10.1002 / gea.21917

Jonathan Benjamin et al., Aboriginal artifacts on the continental shelf reveal ancient drowned cultural landscapes in northwestern Australia, FLAT FIRST (2020). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0233912

Quote: Australia’s first Aboriginal marine archeological site in question (2022, 21 June), retrieved on 21 June 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-australia-marine-aboriginal- archaeological-site.html

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