Technological Organisation at Nawarla Gabarnmang: 45,000 Years of Diverse and Constant Change

04th December 2013

Matthews 2013Nawarla Gabarnmang, a rockshelter located on the southwest Arnhem Land Plateau, contains evidence for human occupation dating to at least 45,000 years ago, along with an extensive lithic assemblage. This site provides an excellent opportunity to examine the ways that people organised their technology across time, and to better understand how and why any changes in technology may have occurred. This research focused on investigating how changing environmental contexts might have influenced the technological strategies people employed over time at Nawarla Gabarnmang. Debitage attribute analysis, minimum analytical nodule analysis and a range of reduction measures allowed the identification of technological change across time, and an understanding of the technological strategies that were in use at the site. The main findings of this research were that throughout the course of human occupation at this site the lithic technology in use changed constantly and that these changes likely responded to, but were not determined by, significant changes in the environmental context that people experienced. Ultimately this research emphasises the nonlinear nature of technological change through time and further demonstrates the utility of technological organisation as an explanatory framework for understanding lithic technology in Australia.

The citation for this poster is:

Matthews, J. 2013 Technological Organisation at Nawarla Gabarnmang: 45,000 Years of Diverse and Constant Change. Poster presented at the AAA Annual Conference, 2-4 December, Coffs Harbour.

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