Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

The Djadjiling archaeological site

The early settlement at this site Djadjiling records occupational intensity, when compared to a site such as Allen's Cave. At this site 664 artefacts have been recovered from the basal layers of the shelter as well as a small hearth, the artefacts are more than half of the total number of artefacts recovered from this site from the succeeding thousands of years of occupation at this site. This provides some indication of the patterns of settlement and the intensity of occupation from this time in the greater desert.

According to Law et al. the settlement of the arid zone during the Pleistocene is a prominent theme in archaeological research in Australia (Hiscock, 2008: 45-62; Hiscock & Wallis, 2004; Marwick, 2002a, 2002b; O’Connor et al., 1998; Smith, 1987, 2005; Thorley, 1998; Veth, 1993, 1995, 2005). The inland region of the western arid zone in the Pilbara is of particular interest, which had in the past been believed to have been first occupied between about 26,00o and about 20,000 years ago (Brown, 1987: 27; Edwards & Murphy, 2003: 45; Maynard, 1980: 7). The region is suggested to have been occupied before 32,920Ĺ ± 270 BP (Slack et al. 2009: 34) by recent test excavations at Junkan-1 Rockshelter. This result is supported by the work of Law et al., at Djadjiling Rockshelter as it demonstrates the presence of Aboriginals at the site at about 35,000 BP. This site is unique for its antiquity, and a large flaked stone assemblage has been recovered from the earliest occupation phase by excavations. Repeated early site use is demonstrated by evidence, and a sequence of occupation that was intermittent throughout the Pleistocene and Holocene. Law et al. present their preliminary findings in this paper.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Cane, Scott, 2013, First Footprints: The epic story of the first Australians, Allen & Unwin
  2. Law, W. Boone, Dawn N. Cropper, and Fiona Petchey. "Djadjiling Rockshelter: 35,000 14 C Years of Aboriginal Occupation in the Pilbara, Western Australia." Australian Archaeology, no. 70 (2010): 68-71.


Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated: 11/06/2014
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