Analysis of stone artefact assemblages from a recent survey of the Howqua River, Victoria

01st June 2002

Shiner Figure 1 AA54Justin Shiner

Staff and students from the third year Honours course in archaeology at La Trobe
University recently undertook a survey of a 10 km section of the Howqua River Valley in the central Victoria uplands. The survey identified twelve previously un-recorded surface stone artefact scatters. In addition, detailed artefact recording was conducted at a previously recorded location. Clear spatial patterning in the distribution of artefacts made on different types of raw material was noted.  Greenstone artefacts were concentrated
at two surface scatters located with 500 m of the Howqua Greenstone Quarry 1, while assemblages further away were dominated by chert. Superficially the assemblages located near the quarry appeared to conform to the definition of a reduction site offered by Hiscock and Mitchell (1993), these contained large amounts of debitage (including micro) and many artefacts representative of the early stages of reduction. However, further analysis indicated that both assemblages also contained a range of artefact forms (including retouched items) made on raw materials other than greenstone. Based on this variable assemblage content, the notion of reduction sites as a functional type as defined by Hiscock and Mitchell (1993) was rejected in the Howqua River Valley. In addition, it is argued that spatial differences in artefact discard represent variability  in the span of occupation in different areas of the valley.

Justin Shiner
Analysis of stone artefact assemblages from a recent survey of the Howqua River, Victoria
June 2002
54
13-21
Article
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