Environmental context for late Holocene human occupation of the South Wellesley Archipelago, Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia

Moss, Patrick, Mackenzie, Lydia, Ulm, Sean, Sloss, Craig, Rosendahl, Daniel, Petherick, Lynda, Steinberger, Lincoln, Wallis, Lynley, Heijnis, Henk, Petchey, Fiona, and Jacobsen, Geraldine (2015) Environmental context for late Holocene human occupation of the South Wellesley Archipelago, Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia. Quaternary International, 385. pp. 136-144.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Author Accepted Version) - Accepted Version
Download (1MB) | Preview
[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2015....
 
5
49


Abstract

A 2400 year record of environmental change is reported from a wetland on Bentinck Island in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia. Three phases of wetland development are identified, with a protected coastal setting from ca. 2400 to 500 years ago, transitioning into an estuarine mangrove forest from ca. 500 years ago to the 1940s, and finally to a freshwater swamp over the past +60 years. This sequence reflects the influence of falling sea-levels, development of a coastal dune barrier system, prograding shorelines, and an extreme storm (cyclone) event. In addition, there is clear evidence of the impacts that human abandonment and resettlement have on the island's fire regimes and vegetation. A dramatic increase in burning and vegetation thickening was observed after the cessation of traditional Indigenous Kaiadilt fire management practices in the 1940s, and was then reversed when people returned to the island in the 1980s. In terms of the longer context for human occupation of the South Wellesley Archipelago, it is apparent that the mangrove phase provided a stable and productive environment that was conducive for human settlement of this region over the past 1000 years.

Item ID: 37993
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: palynology; fire regimes; abandonment; cyclone; Indigenous; islands; Kaiadilt
ISSN: 1873-4553
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), AINSE
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Project Number DP120103179, ARC Future Fellowship project number FT120100656, AINSE Award PGRA10903
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2015 05:01
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040606 Quaternary Environments @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 49
Last 12 Months: 3
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page