Ventrally thinned flakes from south central Queensland: Are they related to bifacial points?

07th November 2013

LR Manuscript 2013029 Figure 2Grant W.G. Cochrane and Trudy Doelman

The process of ventral thinning in Australian lithic technology is usually limited to (i) the preparation of bifacial points or (ii) reduction of the bulbar surface to facilitate hafting. In this paper we describe a number of flakes from south central Queensland (Qld) that exhibit ventral thinning beyond the bulbar region, yet do not fulfil the traditional typological criteria of Australian bifacial points. We then consider how similar artefacts from other parts of the world have been interpreted. Our provisional conclusion is that there may not be a universal explanation for the process of ventral thinning, but at least some of the south central Qld artefacts appear to be formal tools that bear some relationship to bifacial points. We also suggest that similar tools may be present in early Holocene and late Pleistocene deposits at Kenniff Cave. In sum, this evidence lends qualified support to  McNiven’s (1993) hypothesis that bifacial point technology was diffused across parts of Qld through large ceremonial gatherings in the central highlands at least 3000 years ago.

Figure caption: Ventrally thinned flakes from Springwood (published in Australian Archaeology 77:136).

Cochrane, G.W.G. and T. Doelman
Ventrally thinned flakes from south central Queensland: Are they related to bifacial points?
Dec 2013
77
135–140
Short Report
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