Backed blades from the McArthur River, Borroloola, Northern Territory

24th May 2014

The backed blades under discussion (published in Australian Archaeology 31:85).

The backed blades under discussion (published in Australian Archaeology 31:85).

Michael Pickering

Introduction*

Increasing research in northern Australia continues to expand the known distribution of backed blades. It is now generally accepted that the distribution maps of 20 years ago reflect the distribution of research rather than of the artefacts themselves. The total number of such artefacts known from northern Australia is, however, still very small.

During ethnographic fieldwork in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria in August 1989 the author had occasion to visit a public facility 4 km south of Borroloola overlooking the McArthur River (Fig.1). During an early visit a light scatter of artefacts was noticed in an area denuded through vehicle and pedestrian traffic. A cursory examination located two backed blades, one broken bifacial point and one small grindstone fragment in close association. Subsequent visits failed to locate any other artefact of these types.

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Pickering, M.
Backed blades from the McArthur River, Borroloola, Northern Territory
December 1990
31
83–85
Article
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