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Is there a Pleistocene archaeological site at Cuddie Springs?


Gillespie, R and Brook, BW, Is there a Pleistocene archaeological site at Cuddie Springs?, Archaeology in Oceania, 41, (1) pp. 1-11. ISSN 0003-8121 (2006) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2006 The University of Sydney

DOI: doi:10.1002/j.1834-4453.2006.tb00600.x


The juxtaposition of stone tools, charcoal and bones at Cuddie Springs has been used to support claims that people were butchering now-extinct animals, and grinding seeds about 30,000 BP. Statistical analysis of dates for the site shows significant sediment disturbance, and the anomalous presence of hair residues in the absence of bone collagen suggests that bones and stone tools are not the same age. We argue that the published studies on the Cuddie Springs claypan deposits do not show a stratified and undisturbed Late Pleistocene archaeological site, as proposed by the excavators, instead revealing a palimpsest of Late Holocene and European occupational debris superimposed on a much longer-term record of Quaternary landscape evolution. There is no reliable evidence that extinct Australian megafauna coexisted with people using seed-grinding technology at Cuddie Springs, nullifying the excavators' support for climate change models of extinction and dietary choice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:extinction, megafauna, Pleistocene, seed-grinding, palaeochannels
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Palaeoecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Brook, BW (Professor Barry Brook)
ID Code:116336
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:32
Deposited By:Biological Sciences
Deposited On:2017-05-05
Last Modified:2017-08-18

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