The discovery of a heat treatment pit on the Cumberland Plain, western Sydney

23rd January 2014

Plan view of heat treatment pit during excavation (published in Australian Archaeology 38:47).

Plan view of heat treatment pit during excavation (published in Australian Archaeology 38:47).

Jo McDonald and Beth Rich

Introduction*

The recent test excavation programme at Rouse Hill (McDonald and Rich 1993; McDonald et al. in press) located a pit which appears to have been used for heat treating silcrete. The pit has been dated to 1070±60 BP (Beta-66451).

The silcrete heat treatment pit was encountered at site PK/CD1+2 on Caddies Creek near Parklea (Rich 1993). The pit was located in a 1.0 m X 0.5 m test trench (S16-A100). The dimensions of the roughly circular feature were 0.25 m X 0.30 m X 0.09 m (Fig. 1). This consisted of a baked clay feature, charcoal and concentrations of stone artefacts. There was a notable absence of tree root structures and no sudden changes in colour of the deposit were detected which would have resulted from uncontrolled temperatures (i.e. a burning tree stump).

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

McDonald, J. and B. Rich
The discovery of a heat treatment pit on the Cumberland Plain, western Sydney
June 1994
38
46–47
Short Report
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