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Aboriginal stone Tools

Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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There was a lot information in that. It is difficult not to have preconcieved ideas about this sort of thing.
Our reason/objective for wanting to work stone are not the same as 'stone age' peoples.
 

koalaboi

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Interesting articles both.

I don't know that can agree with either fully.

The first article seems to argue that retouching flakes was rare and that most stone tool making was accidental rather than deliberate.The kimberley points would suggest otherwise. Moreover there lots of evidence of flakes where retouching is quite obvious.

1-32-3.jpg

The flkes taken off the edge of this scraper are pretty obvious.

1-36-1.jpg

Again retouch is obvious in this blade.

4-2-3.jpg

The picture above of a saw is pretty clearly deliberate retouch and next a point clearly not just an opportunistic flake.

6-29-3.jpg

When you go to a tool making site you see lots of smashed bits of rock and the use of suitable flakes for a variety of purposes, especially if material is abundant, would be opportunistic. But I reckon there was more to it.

As far as the megafauna debate is concerned, I have seen petraglyphs of animals which are not found today. One is clearly Procoptodon goliath, the giant shortfaced kangaroo.

Were they hunted out of existence? Did climate change play a part? Did the burning of country also play a part?

One thing is for sure: megafauna disappear pretty quickly once humans arrive, the exception being the continents connected to Africa where animals have evolved with humans as predators and prey.

KB
 

auscraft

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KB I think you will find it was refering to the rarity of recognised tools (recognised by europeans standards, stones that were actually knapped) not saying knapping was not done, in fact when looking into stone spearheads all were knapped. The rarity was also discussed with regards to the availability of the raw materials.
 

koalaboi

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Hi Auscraft, I think we have a definition discontinuity here. I think you're saying that a knapped tool must have retouch? I reckon that a flake knapped off a core is a knapped tool with or without retouch.

A natural flake is often referred to as a geofact rather than an artefact and in my years of knapping and visiting sites etc, naturally occuring useful flakes are not that easy to find.

KB
 

Aussie Forager CQ

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Hi All,

I have a topic to bring up that I think applies here. I would be very interested to hear everyone's feedback on the following couple of questions.

-Does anyone know of any applicable legislation/laws/guidelines regarding the finding of aboriginal artifacts? Regarding what, if anything is to be done with them, who if anyone is to be notified of the find?
 

auscraft

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also check out the ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER HERITAGE PROTECTION ACT 1984

Jurisdiction
Principal Indigenous heritage legislation
Australian Capital Territory
Heritage Act 2004
Heritage Objects Act 1991
New South Wales
Heritage Act 1977
National Parks and Wildlife Amendment (Aboriginal Ownership) Act 1996
Northern Territory
Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989
Heritage Conservation Act 1991
Queensland
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003
Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003
South Australia
Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988
Tasmania
Aboriginal Relics Act 1975
Victoria
Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006
Heritage Act 1994
Western Australia
Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972



Protection under state and territory laws

Australia's state and territory governments have broad responsibilities for recognising and protecting Australia's Indigenous heritage, including archaeological sites.
Indigenous heritage can be protected under state or territory heritage laws to varying degrees. Usually state and territory laws automatically protect various types of areas or objects, while enabling developers to apply for a permit or certificate to allow them to proceed with activities that might affect Indigenous heritage.


Copies of these laws can be downloaded from www.austlii.edu.au

 
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koalaboi

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Just got back from a trip to CW NSW.

Visited an occupation cave. Up till recently it had hundreds of stone artefacts. Ntional Parks have found it it and everything is gone.

Shame really.

KB
 

Hairyman

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Thats no good, if they are all gone does that suggest organised collection and sale?
 

Corin

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Just got back from a trip to CW NSW.

Visited an occupation cave. Up till recently it had hundreds of stone artefacts. Ntional Parks have found it it and everything is gone.

Shame really.

KB

Criminal really mate!
 

koalaboi

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Thats no good, if they are all gone does that suggest organised collection and sale?

I doubt it...stone chips etc are pretty valueless. The group of Aboriginal men I was with were a bit furious to say the least! A brush cutter had been used to cut a trail to the cave and inside had been pegged out. Maybe an archaeological dig or maybe a wildlife survey as the cave, unusually deep for a sandstone cave has a small colony of bats living in it.

KB
 

auscraft

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It is sad that even with laws and regulations around this was obvious an aboriginal site and That I thought was what was to protected aswell to any artifacts
 

Hairyman

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I doubt it...stone chips etc are pretty valueless. The group of Aboriginal men I was with were a bit furious to say the least! A brush cutter had been used to cut a trail to the cave and inside had been pegged out. Maybe an archaeological dig or maybe a wildlife survey as the cave, unusually deep for a sandstone cave has a small colony of bats living in it.

KB
The stone chips are certainly worthless when taken out of their original contex, Wouldnt traditional owners/claimants have been consulted before any
government agency, research institution or mining survey team did anything on a site like that?
 

koalaboi

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The stone chips are certainly worthless when taken out of their original contex, Wouldnt traditional owners/claimants have been consulted before any
government agency, research institution or mining survey team did anything on a site like that?

You'd have to think so though working out who exactly the traditional owners are can be very difficult. In my area, the LALC wants to assume control of cultural heritage but individual members come from all over the state. Moreover, many have not got the knowledge and connection with sites and country that comes through traditional lore via initiation. I know of stories where LALC officials have turned up to threaten Aboriginal men with prosecution for doing cultural business at sites on Forestry land!

It's not easy at the best of times and with Aboriginal communities still dealing with the long term intergenerational effects of colonisation, dispossession and assimilation etc, it's hardly surprising that there is a wide range of views on cultural heritage. There is at present a review in NSW on this issue and the preliminary findings make interesting reading:

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/cultureheritage/20120403phase1feedback.pdf

I just hope that cultural heritage is protected in such a way that allows for people to continue to revive and practise lore and ceremony.

It will be interesting to see how the process goes and the legislation that is to be put before the parliament.

KB
 

auscraft

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Your right the document makes very interesting reading.
 
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