Traces of times past: Stone artefacts into prehistory

23rd January 2014

Richard Fullagar


An important aim recognised in the first Australian Archaeology (e.g. McBryde 1974a) has been to understand past and present relationships between diverse Australian environments and Aboriginal people. How successful have stone artefact analyses been in addressing such an aim? What is the role of stone tools in writing prehistory? What’s new in our understanding of Australian stone arte facts, assemblages, distributions and technology? There have been many surface collections and excavations in the last twenty years and consequently a vast increase in the range and number of stone artefacts, waiting to slip into someone’s prehistory, or already processed and museumed. Rather than list the lot, I want to note examples of new methods or further developments and applications. Second, I want to consider Australian studies of organisational variability and technological organisation, a distinct theoretical approach developed particularly since the 1980s (Nelson 1991).

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Fullagar, R.
Traces of times past: Stone artefacts into prehistory
December 1994
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