Burials and time at Gillman Mound, northern Adelaide, South Australia

06th November 2013

Judith Littleton, Keryn Walshe and John Hodges

Gillman Mound, on the Adelaide Plains, South Australia, was excavated in 1970 after human remains were discovered during redevelopment. Twenty-two individuals were
recovered, along with a further 16 from the Wingfield area. In collaboration with the Kaurna Nation Cultural Heritage Association, these remains were recently analysed and dated. This paper analyses the burial practices in order to identify temporal and spatial continuities and discontinuities, both within the site, and in a more regional context. One of the major issues with burial sites is their interpretation in terms of a temporal scale. The burials at Gillman date to between 1100 and 600 BP. Given that on at least two occasions a
single grave was used for the burial of two people, the time frame suggests approximately one burial per generation (or potentially a more episodic use of the site). This points to the existence of multiple places in use for burial at the same time and raises the question of which people were buried at particular places. While some of the burial practices in the mound are congruent with ethnohistoric accounts of Kaurna burials, others point to discontinuities in time or space.

Figure caption: Map of Gillman Mound in relation to the Adelaide Plains (published in Australian Archaeology 77:39).

Littleton, J., K. Walshe and J. Hodges
Burials and time at Gillman Mound, northern Adelaide, South Australia
Dec 2013
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