Radiocarbon dates on shearwater bones from Beeton Shelter, Badger Island, Bass Strait

23rd January 2014

Atholl Anderson, John Head, Robin Sim and Darrell West

Introduction*

Excavation of the Beeton Rockshelter site on Badger Island (Furneaux Group) Bass Strait, produced numerous mutton-bird bones. These came from three 1 m2 squares which varied in depth from about 0.75 m near the rear of the shelter to about 1.5 m toward the front. All three pits displayed a stratigraphic sequence comprising two highly alkaline, coarse, calcareous sand units capped by a surface deposit of densely compacted sheep and cow dung. Bone from terrestrial mammals, emu eggshell and flaked stone and fossil shell artefacts were recovered from both sand units. Numerous shellfish and mutton-bird remains were recovered from the upper sand layer. This was darker in colour than the basal unit and generally between 35 cm and 45 cm thick. In the outermost excavated square, bird burrows were evident and one whole, juvenile, mutton-bird skeleton was found. The upper sand layer appears to have been formed by rookery activity reworking a surface deposit of midden throughout the upper level of the sand deposit.

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

Anderson, A., M.J. Head, R. Sim and D. West
Radiocarbon dates on shearwater bones from Beeton Shelter, Badger Island, Bass Strait
June 1996
42
17–19
Article
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