Getting to the Point: A Regional Comparison of Stone Point Technology across Northern Australia

21st April 2013

Cherylyn Wong

BA(Hons), School of Social Science, The University of Queensland, October 2012

Northern Australia is an area of remarkable cultural diversity evident through ethnographic studies, linguistics, and archaeological investigations. This thesis addresses the question of regional variation in point production across northern Australia. Various explanatory models for the causes of inter-regional variation in point technology are also explored and tested, including cultural transmission, origins and dispersal, and adaptation. Through the analysis and comparison of the reduction sequences of the stone point assemblages from Ngarradj Warde Djobkeng situated in western Arnhem Land, Nimji within Wardaman Country, Jinmium and Punipunil in the Keep River region, Widgingarri Shelters 1 and 2 and Carpenters Gap in the western Kimberley, and Yarar in the Daly River region, this study provides a detailed synthesis of technological data that complements existing understandings of cultural diversity across northern Australia. The results demonstrate significant differences in point production between the different regions, with cultural transmission and adaptation impacting upon regional variation in point technology. The results of this thesis have implications for similar studies of regional variation in point technology as well as other technologies, and reinforce the notion of a culturally dynamic and diverse Aboriginal Australia.

Cherylyn Wong
Getting to the point: A regional comparison of stone point technology across northern Australia
June 2013
Thesis Abstracts
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