Thesis abstract ‘Digging Deeper: A Re-Analysis of the Archaeology of Fromms Landing, South Australia’

02nd January 2014

Amy L. Roberts

BA(Hons), Department of Archaeology, Flinders University, Adelaide, November 1998

This research presents a re-analysis of the archaeology of Fromms Landing, South Australia. The majority of this research was carried out on the museum collection from Shelter 2 of Fromms Landing (this collection is located in the South Australian Museum store at Netley), which was excavated between the years of 1956–1958 by Professor D.J. Mulvaney. This thesis addresses, in particular, the contributions that the re-analyses of bone and stone can provide to our understanding of past environments, human behaviour and technology.

This study presents new data concerning past climatic change through a biochemical analysis of the archaeological faunal remains of the species Macropus giganteus. The stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis employed in this research provides information on climate change in the Fromms Landing area for the late Holocene (5000 BP to present). The results from the analysis indicate a climate which was more arid than present between the years of approximately 5000–3000 BP with present climatic conditions extending from 3000 BP to the present day.

Through comparisons to other techniques that are currently employed to determine climate change such as pollen analysis and the analysis of lacustrine deposits, stable carbon isotope analysis presents itself as a viable option for determining regional change as well as indicating climate changes that occur on a national scale. In addition, this thesis presents a revised lithic interpretation that does not focus on the typologies that have been used in the past to interpret lithic assemblages, but instead concentrates on the areas of raw materials, manufacture, retouch and utilisation. This approach to the lithic assemblage at Fromms Landing provides new information regarding raw material acquisition and the changes and consistencies that have occurred in the technology over the past 5000 years. The biases induced by a typological analysis art: also highlighted.

The recent approaches to the analyses of bone and stone in this research emphasise the amount of new information that can be gained from past excavations through both the provision of new data through isotope analyses and the re-analysis of lithic interpretations.

Roberts, A.L.
Thesis abstract 'Digging Deeper: A Re-Analysis of the Archaeology of Fromms Landing, South Australia'
June 1999
Thesis Abstracts
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