Direct dating of resin hafted point technology in Australia

23rd December 2015

Tim Maloney, Rachel Wood, Sue O’Connor and Rose Whitau

The rare recovery of hafting technology from archaeological deposits around the world prevents a clear picture of Palaeolithic hafting arrangements. Without the recovery of hafted stone tools, our understanding of this technology is limited to extrapolation from artefact morphology and ethnographic analogy, and such is the case in Australia. Here we present a direct date of 3160–2954 cal. BP, obtained from resin on a stone point recovered from Carpenters Gap 1 rockshelter in northern Western Australia. This artefact fits the description of point technology in Australia, being a retouched flake with converging margins, and provides the first direct date of hafting resin in situ on a stone tool from the Australian continent. The hafting arrangement of a stone point during the mid- to late Holocene is archaeologically visible for the first time in Australia. This point was hafted using resin adhesive as well as wound binding material. This rare artefact is used to discuss the current interpretations of technological change in the Holocene record of Australia and the direct dating process.

Maloney, T., Wood, R., O'Connor, S. and R. Whitau
Direct dating of resin hafted point technology in Australia
December 2015
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