Integrating geoarchaeology and magnetic susceptibility at three shell mounds: a pilot study from Mornington Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia

Rosendahl, Daniel, Lowe, Kelsey M., Wallis, Lynley A., and Ulm, Sean (2014) Integrating geoarchaeology and magnetic susceptibility at three shell mounds: a pilot study from Mornington Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 49. pp. 21-32.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Author accepted version) - Accepted Version
Download (917kB) | Preview
[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.04....
 
12
67


Abstract

In coastal areas of the globe, open shell matrix sites are commonly used to establish regional chronologies of human occupation and identify patterns of cultural change, particularly for the Holocene, post-sea-level stabilisation period. Despite this, many basic sedimentary analyses that are routinely applied to rockshelter deposits (e.g. geophysical characterisation, particle size etc) are rarely applied to these sites. Magnetic susceptibility, occasionally used in rockshelters, has never been used to investigate shell matrix sites in Australia, despite several international studies identifying its efficacy for other types of open sites. This paper reports a pilot project applying a range of conventional sedimentary and archaeological analyses, as well as magnetic susceptibility at three anthropogenic shell mounds on Mornington Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Results are compared to, firstly, assess site integrity and, secondly, to ascertain whether magnetic signatures are related to cultural or natural site formation processes. The results establish that the mounds were repeatedly visited, despite the archaeological evidence, including radiocarbon ages, suggesting effectively 'instantaneous' deposition. This has important implications for studies of other shell mounds where the limitations of radiocarbon dating precision may also mask multiple deposition events.

Item ID: 33254
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: shell mounds; magnetic susceptibility; coastal archaeology; island archaeology; archaeological geophysics; human–environment interaction; northern Australia; Gulf of Carpentaria
ISSN: 1095-9238
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Project Number DP0663047, ARC Discovery Project Number DP120103179, ARC Future Fellowship Project Number FT120100656
Date Deposited: 21 May 2014 00:40
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 67
Last 12 Months: 5
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page