Connections across the Sea: characterising Macassan activities in the South Wellesley Islands, Gulf of Carpentaria

Oertle, Annette, Leavesley, Matthew, Mate, Geraldine, Rosendahl, Daniel, and Ulm, Sean (2014) Connections across the Sea: characterising Macassan activities in the South Wellesley Islands, Gulf of Carpentaria. In: Posters from the National Archaeology Student Conference. From: NASC 2014: National Archaeology Student Conference, 11-13 April 2014, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

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Abstract

Studies on Macassan activities in northern Australia have focused on the intensive industrial trepang processing site complexes on the Cobourg Peninsula and in northeast Arnhem Land (Clarke 2000; Macknight 1976; Mitchell 1995). Less attention has focused on sites at the eastern and western geographical peripheries of Macassan contact and how the less intensive and more irregular presence of Macassans in these areas impacted local Aboriginal people. Recent archaeological work in the South Wellesley Islands reveals new evidence of Macassan pottery sherds, tamarind trees and stone lines (Figure 1). A comparative study is undertaken between Macassan sites in the South Wellesley Islands and selected Macassan sites across northern Australia, focusing on elements such as artefacts, features, language, genetics and material culture. These data sets are analysed in terms of the degree of cross-cultural contact between Macassans and Aboriginal people in each region by categorising certain elements as present, observed or shared to show low, medium or high degrees of interaction. Results provide the basis to characterise the degree of cross-cultural interaction between Macassan and Kaiadilt people in the South Wellesley Islands. Historical, archaeological and ethnographic evidence of Macassan activities in the South Wellesley Islands are examined along with studies on Kaiadilt culture, language, genetics and behaviour (Best 2013; Evans 1995; Tindale 1960; Ulm et al. 2010).

Item ID: 32526
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Keywords: Kaiadilt, Aboriginal, Macassan, ceramic, pottery
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Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2014 23:27
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology @ 70%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 30%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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