Preliminary investigation of Indigenous campsites in late Quaternary dunes, Port Augusta, South Australia

13th November 2013

Keryn Walshe, John Prescott, Frances Williams and Martin Williams

Introduction*

A series of late Quaternary dunes are located in the vicinity of Port Augusta in the mid-north of South Australia. Observations of deflating archaeological material were first
recorded by Norman B. Tindale during the 1939 Harvard-Adelaide University Anthropological Expedition (Tindale 1939:827).

A mile & 314 beyond the Port Augusta Bridge on the side of the road to Iron Knob, we hunted over a site where we had on a previous occasion found several old Kangaroo Island type implements. Found an old earthy layer fiom which series of large crude quartzite flakes were eroding also a few large and much altered shells. Much of the implements was already dropped onto a hard pan and the rest was on the surface of the weathering earth layer, so that absolute results not obtainable but it seemed likely that most if not all the
material weathering out belonged to a single period. (see collection of specimens). 

Records of similar material at nearby Dempsey’s Lake were made by Cooper (1953) and Lampert (1976). Dempsey’s Lake was the focus of palaeontological investigations during the 1950’s from which time a certain amount of Diprotodon skeletal material was  recovered. Stone tools described as consistent with ‘Kartan’ industries have also been recovered and are generally characteristic of the core tool and scraper tradition (Lampert 1976). Lampert (1976) also noted the absence of small tools ‘such as pirris and tulas’. The fossil bone and stone tools were exposed on an “eroded red sand dune running in a straight line from north west to south east” (Lampert 1976:12).

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

Walshe, K., J. Prescott, F. Williams and M. Williams
Preliminary investigation of Indigenous campsites in late Quaternary dunes, Port Augusta, South Australia
2001
52
5–8
Article
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