Shell artefacts from northern Cape Range Peninsula, northwest Western Australia

20th November 2013

Kathryn Przywolnik
Map showing inset of study area and midden sites in the Cape Range Peninsula, northwest Australia (published in Australian Archaeology 56:12).

Map showing inset of study area and midden sites in the Cape Range Peninsula, northwest Australia (published in Australian Archaeology 56:12).

This paper describes a range of flaked, ground and utilised shell artefacts that were recorded and analysed as part of a broader study of archaeological sites in a section of arid coastal northwest Western Australia. Despite the relative profusion of shell artefacts in the study area, ethnographic sources for the Cape Range region do not reference the making or using of shell artefacts by Aboriginal people. Previous and recent archaeological research in the Cape Range region are discussed and a shell artefact assemblage with components such as baler shell pendants, knives and dishes, shell beads and giant clam shell adzes is identified. Shell artefacts have been generally neglected by archaeologists in Australia, but are potentially a substantial source of information regarding the function of archaeological sites. This paper provides a resource for the identification of shell artefacts from sites in coastal northwestern Australia.

Przywolnik, K.
Shell artefacts from northern Cape Range Peninsula, northwest Western Australia
2003
56
12–21
Article
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