Identifying style in Australian stone artefacts

30th December 2013

Sandra Bowdler and Jenny Smith


Archaeologists in Australia have long had problems with stone tools. Aboriginal flaked stone artefacts quickly acquired the reputation of being amorphous and resistant to traditional archaeological analytical techniques. While it is recognised that this is a Eurocentric perception, it has nevertheless resulted in a reluctance to use stone artefacts as a source of cultural information. This paper suggests a theoretical framework articulated with a methodological approach to the study of Australian flaked stone artefact assemblages in a way which aims to identify style. The theory of ‘isochrestic style’ is not intended as a substitute for methodology, nor is it a theory which can be disproved by substantive results; it is a theory which allows a particular kind of interpretation, cultural rather than functional or technological.

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

Bowdler, S. and J. Smith
Identifying style in Australian stone artefacts
December 1999
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