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Date(s) - 11/08/2016
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

UWA Social Science Lecture Theatre 1, G28

Ingrid Ward and Mick O’Leary

Reassessing the offshore theory for source of fossiliferous chert artefacts in SW Australia

UWA Archaeology Seminar Series 2016 Semester 2

4-5pm 11th August, Social Sciences Lecture Room 1 (G28)

In the absence of Eocene chert outcrops onshore, archaeologists in the SW have argued for an offshore source that was subsequently flooded during post-glacial sea level rise.

Presenting work from our recently submitted QSR paper, this presentation shows evidence to challenge this offshore theory, including (i) absence of Eocene age sedimentary strata on the continental shelf, (ii) faunal evidence showing the bryozoans imbedded in the Swan Coastal Plain chert having similar environmental affinities to bryozoans embedded in chert outcropping along the Nullarbor Plain sea cliffs, and (iii) geochemical evidence showing a similar geochemical fingerprint between artefacts from the Nullarbor Plain and Swan Coastal Plain. These findings not only have implications relating to the use of Eocene fossiliferous chert as a chronological marker for Late Pleistocene to early-Holocene age deposits but also for long distance trade to the east.  It is hoped that this preliminary work will lead to further investigative research and funding.

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