Robust local vegetation records from dense archaeological shell matrixes: a palynological analysis of the Thundiy shell deposit, Bentinck Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia

Moss, Patrick T., Ulm, Sean, Mackenzie, Lydia, Wallis, Lynley A., Rosendahl, Daniel, and Steinberger, Lincoln (2019) Robust local vegetation records from dense archaeological shell matrixes: a palynological analysis of the Thundiy shell deposit, Bentinck Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11 (2). pp. 511-520.

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Abstract

This study investigates the palynological remains (both fossil pollen and charcoal) recovered from the Thundiy shell midden deposit, Bentinck Island, Gulf of Carpentaria, northern Australia, to provide a vegetation and fire record for this site, which sheds light on human occupation of the southern Wellesley Archipelago over the late Holocene. Results show that the development of a high-density shell deposit by human activities was directly responsible for pollen preservation, possibly through the creation of a moist, anaerobic environment that reduces oxidation of pollen grains. The presence of recoverable pollen from a shell midden deposit from Bentinck Island provides a valuable new proxy to provide greater context for archaeological records, particularly in terms of local vegetation information and potential insight into human land management practices.

Item ID: 45985
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1866-9565
Keywords: midden; palynology; fire; vegetation change; coastal; Northern Australia; Indigenous
Copyright Information: Copyright © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC Discovery Project Number DP120103179, ARC Discovery Project Number DP0663047, ARC Future Fellowship project number FT120100656
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2016 03:20
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 50%
45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history > 450101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander archaeology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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