eCite Digital Repository

50 years and worlds apart: Rethinking the Holocene occupation of Cloggs Cave (East Gippsland, SE Australia) five decades after its initial archaeological excavation and in light of GunaiKurnai world views

Citation

David, B and Freslov, J and Mullett, R and Delannoy, JJ and McDowell, M and Urwin, C and Mialanes, J and Petchey, F and Wood, R and Russell, L and Arnold, LJ and Stephenson, B and Fullagar, R and Crouch, J and Ash, J and Berthet, J and Wong, VNL and Green, H, 50 years and worlds apart: Rethinking the Holocene occupation of Cloggs Cave (East Gippsland, SE Australia) five decades after its initial archaeological excavation and in light of GunaiKurnai world views, Australian Archaeology, 87, (1) pp. 1-20. ISSN 0312-2417 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Australian Archaeological Association Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1080/03122417.2020.1859963

Abstract

In this paper we report on new research at the iconic archaeological site of Cloggs Cave (GunaiKurnai Country), in the southern foothills of SE Australia’s Great Dividing Range. Detailed chronometric dating, combined with high-resolution 3D mapping, geomorphological studies and archaeological excavations, now allow a dense sequence of Late Holocene ash layers and their contents to be correlated with GunaiKurnai ethnography and current knowledge. These results suggest a critical re-interpretation of what the Old People were, and were not, doing in Cloggs Cave during the Late Holocene. Instead of a lack of Late Holocene cave occupation, as previously thought through the conceptual lens of ‘habitat and economy’, Cloggs Cave is now understood to have been actively used for special, magical purposes. Configured by local GunaiKurnai cosmology, cave landscapes (including Cloggs Cave's) were populated not only by food species animals, but also by ‘supernatural’ Beings and forces whose presence helped inform occupational patterns. The profound differences between the old and new archaeological interpretations of Cloggs Cave, separated by five decades of developing archaeological thought and technical advances, draw attention to archaeological meaning-making and highlight the significance of data capture and the pre-conceptions that shape the production of archaeological stories and identities of place.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Cloggs Cave, GunaiKurnai, palaeontology, archaeology
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:McDowell, M (Dr Matthew McDowell)
ID Code:144615
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2021-05-31
Last Modified:2021-06-30
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page