Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Timeline of Ground-edge & Waisted Hatchets of Sahul (Greater Australia)                   
  1. 40,000    Huon Peninsula: Bobongarra, Papua New Guinea.
  2. 32,000    Sandy Creek 1, southeast Cape York, Queensland.
  3. 28,000    Widgingarri 1 & 2, the Kimberley, Western Australia.
  4. 26,000    Kospie, Papua New Guinea.
  5. 25,000    Nombe, Papua New Guinea.
  6. 23,000    Malangangerr, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.
  7. 21,450    Nawamoyn, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.
  8. 20,000    Kuk, Papua New Guinea.
  9. 19,975    Nauwalabila 1, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.
  10. 17,900    Miriwun, southeast Cape York, Queensland.
  11. 12,100    Yuku, Papua New Guinea.
  12. 11,000    Pamwak Rock shelter, Manus Island, Admiralty Islands.
  13. 10,790    Jimeri I, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.
  14.   6,870    Mushroom Rock, southeast Cape York, Queensland.
  15.   6,650    Jimeri II, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.
  16.   5,770    Anbangbang1, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.
  17.                Kangaroo Island sites, South Australia.
  18.                Mackay, central Queensland.
  19.                Early Man Rockshelter, southeast Cape York Peninsula, Queensland.

 

  1. Papua New Guinea sites. In excavations dating from possibly more than 40,000 BP, more than 100 waisted hatchets were found
  2. Sandy Creek 1, southeast Cape York Sites, Queensland. Edge-ground waisted, and grooved pink quartz hatchet was found on bedrock that had been dated by stratigraphic methods to about 31,000 +700/-600 BP. There was also a flake with a ground surface that came from the upper, Holocene levels.
  3. Widgingarri 1 & 2, the Kimberley, Western Australia. In levels dated to 28,060 +/- 600 BP (R11795) there were flakes of volcanic stone, that are believed may have detached from the working edge of ground stone hatchets. Artefacts of ground stone were also found in layers of Holocene origin.
  4. Kospie, Papua New Guinea. 20 ground-edge hatchets, the earliest of which has been dated to possibly more than 26,000 BP. 26,870 +/- 590 BP 26,450 +/- 880 BP. (Bulmer, 1977; White & O'Connell, 1982; Groube et al., 1986; Golson, 2001; Allen & O'Connell, 2004,2004).
  5. Nombe, Papua New Guinea. 2 waisted and stemmed hatchets dating from possibly 25,000 BP.
  6. Malangangerr, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. In this deposit there were 5 edge-ground hatchets, 1 of which was described as waisted, in the lower sand deposits that have been dated from between 22,900 +/- 1,000 BP (ANU-77b) and 18,400 +/- 400 BP (ANU-19). A large flake, that it is believed may been an incomplete edge-ground hatchet. A ground green schist "rod" was found that is believed to possibly have been part of a larger ground tool. It was in the lower sand deposit. A ground sandstone "rod" was found in the lower unit of the midden that dated from 5,980 +/- 140 BP (GaK-627) (Schrire, 1982).
  7. Nawamoyn, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. From the Holocene and Pleistocene, there were 9 ground-edge hatchets, and a rock with small depressions ground into its surface. There were also 22 pebbles that had evidence of being used for pounding, some the above dating to at least 21,450 +/- 380 BP (ANU-51). Some dated to more than 7,110 +/- 130 (ANU-53). (Schrire, 1982).
  8. Kuk, Papua New Guinea. A waisted hatchet dating to about 20,000 BP.
  9. Nauwalabila 1, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Pieces of exotic dolerite that have the general shape indicating they were probably hatchets or hatchet blanks, but weathering was too advanced to make their identification certain, and to determine if they originally had ground edges. They are believed to date from about 25,000-30,000 BP, being older than 19,975 +/- 365 BP (SUA-237). There were also small flakes, thought to possibly from the cutting edge of edge-ground hatchets. The oldest of these flake being found in levels dating from between 19,975 +/- 365 (SUA 237) and 13,195 +/- 175 BP (SUA 236). (Johnson, 1985b).
  10. Miriwun, southeast Cape York, Queensland. A ground-edge hatchet was found that dated from 1,675 +/- 185 BP (SUA-142). A single flake was found that it is believed may have come from the cutting edge of a ground stone hatchet dated to between 17,980 +1,370/-1,170 BP (ANU-1008). (Dortch, 1977).
  11. Yuku, Papua New Guinea sites. About 18 waisted hatchets in the upper levels, and 2 in earlier levels that are believed could be more than 12,100 +/- 350 (GX-3212B).
  12. Pamwak Rock shelter, Manus Island, Admiralty Islands. In this deposit were found 5 edge-ground stone hatchets/adzes, 16 edge-ground Tridacna shell artefacts. Dates ranged from 12,400 +/- 80 BP (ANU-6980) to 11,730 +/- 280 BP (ANU-7124).
  13. Jimeri I, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. 2 small edge-ground hatchets made from porphyritic dolerite that dated to 3,820 +/- 100 BP (ANU-52) and up to possibly 10,790 +/- 100 BP (GaK-632). (Schrire, 1982).
  14. Mushroom Rock, southeast Cape York, Queensland. The base of the deposits, well below a dated later of 6,870 +/- 150 BP, believed to possibly of late Plesitocene age, have produced fragments of edge-ground hatchets.
  15. Jimeri II, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. 11 small edge-ground porphyritic dolerite hatchets, together with possible waist flakes believed to have resulted from the making and/or use of stone implements that dated from between 6.650 +/- 500 BP (ANU-18) and 4,779 +/- 150 BP (ANU-50). (Schrire, 1982).
  16. Anbangbang1, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. A ground hatchet from levels earlier than 5,770 +/- 100 BP. (ANU-3206). (Jones & Johnson, 1985a).
  17. Kangaroo Island sites, South Australia. Waisted hatchets that are believed to be of late Pleistocene to early Holocene age. (Lampert, 1981; Golson, 2001).
  18. Mackay, central Queensland. Waisted hatchets were found on the surface (Groube, 1986).
  19. Early Man Rockshelter, southeast Cape York Pensinula, Queensland. Flakes with grinding marks, that are believed to be from edge-ground hatchets, possibly of terminal Pleistocene age.

 

Sources & Further reading

  1. Josephine Flood, Archaeology of the Dreamtime, J. B. Publishing
  2. Phillip J. Habgood & Natilie R. Franklin, The revolution that didn't arrive: A review of Pleistocene Sahul, Journal of Human Evolution, 55, 2008

 

Author: M. H. Monroe
Email: admin@austhrutime.com
Last updated: 30/09/2011
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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email: admin@austhrutime.com     Sources & Further reading