Over and under: geography and archaeology of the Palm Islands and adjacent continental shelf of North Queensland

O'Keeffe, Mornee Jasmin (1991) Over and under: geography and archaeology of the Palm Islands and adjacent continental shelf of North Queensland. Masters (Research) thesis, James Cook University of North Queensland.

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A preliminary investigation into the Aboriginal archaeology of the Herbert / Burdekin region of the continental shelf, northeastern Queensland, is approached (a) from the beginning of the Holocene transgression when sea level first overtopped the edge of the shelf at c. 13,000 BP; and (b) from the time of the apparent stabilisation of sea level at c. 6,500 years BP.

A possible episodic rise in Holocene sea level, as evidenced by relic shorelines, is related to the palaeochannels of the Herbert and Burdekin Rivers to reconstruct the palaeogeography of the shelf during the low sea level of the last glacial period and subsequent Holocene transgression. Potential archaeological sites for future investigation are identified on the emergent landmasses of the Palm Islands. Antecedent platforms of modern reefs, sheltered sites around island land masses which existed at earlier shorelines and areas adjacent to former estuaries are suggested as potential underwater archaeological sites.

While the patterning of late Holocene Aboriginal settlement on Orpheus Island, in the Palm Islands, is offered as a possible recent analogue for earlier settlement on the continental shelf, it suggested that isolation by rising sea level at c. 7,500 BP created drastic environmental changes and triggered a divergence from modern mainland lifeways for the Palm Islanders. Evidence is drawn from preliminary habitat reconstruction, radiocarbon dating and small excavations of shell midden deposits on Orpheus Island.

Item ID: 55968
Item Type: Thesis (Masters (Research))
Keywords: Palm Islands, Orpheus Island, Aborigines, archaeology, sea levels, holocene, palaeogeography, Pioneer Bay, Middens, Aboriginal archaeology, North Queensland
Copyright Information: Copyright © 1991 Mornee Jasmin O'Keeffe
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2018 22:10
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 50%
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