Lithics in the Land of the Lightning Brothers: The Archaeology of Wardaman Country, Northern Territory

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ANU E Press, Sep 1, 2007 - Cave dwellings - 221 pages
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LITHICS IN THE LAND OF THE LIGHTNING BROTHERS skilfully integrates a wide range of data-raw-material procurement, tool design, reduction and curation, patterns of distribution and association-to reveal the major outlines of Wardaman prehistory. At the same time, the book firmly situates data and methods in broad theoretical context. In its regional scope and thorough technological approach, this book exemplifies the best of recent lithic analysis and hunter-gatherer archaeology. Any archaeologist who confronts the challenge of classifying retouched stone tools should consult this volume for a clear demonstration of reduction intensity as a source of size and form variation independent of "type." Yet the demonstration is not merely methodological; Clarkson shows how the measurement of reduction intensity informs analysis of technological diversity and other cultural practices. In Clarkson's hands, Wardaman prehistory emerges as a particular record of the human past. Yet the book is also a case study in prolonged cultural response to environmental conditions and the way in which cultures persist and reproduce themselves over long spans of time. The result is an analytical tour de force that will guide hunter-gatherer archaeology in Australia and elsewhere for years to come.
 

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Contents

Defining Research Questions in Northern Australian Lithic Studies
1
List of Figures
2
Modelling Optimality in Subsistence and Technology
9
hypothetical return rate from foraging over time B sigmoid curve representing utility
23
Procedures for Lithic Analysis
27
curvature of the retouched edge
39
Physiography and Climate Change
41
Nimji Garnawala 2 Gordolya and Jagoliya
55
reductions in the perimeter of retouch and C platforms retouched
118
marginal angle plotted against longitudinal crosssection
125
Change and Continuity in Stone Artefact Manufacture
129
for the region over time
140
rockshelters
142
the number of bifacially retouched segments
153
A New Look at North Australian Prehistory
159
Conclusion
167

the location of the squares analysed by Cundy 1990 and the location of major rock
58
at the base of the rock
73
Artefact Form and Manufacturing Technology in Wardaman
83
morphology and reduction technique over the sequence of core rotations
85
and their frequencies
87
both cores the cortical platform on one A and the single conchoidal scar on the platform of
92
intervals
98
thickness ratio and B longitudinal crosssection lengththickness ratio
105
Appendix A Attributes recorded on stone artefacts
187
Appendix B Descriptions of excavated materials from Nimji
193
Descriptions of excavated materials from Garnawala 2
199
Descriptions of excavated materials from Jagoliya
205
Appendix E Descriptions of excavated materials from Gordolya
215
Stone artefact counts for Square M25 Gordolya
218
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