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Fish and shellfish were mainly collected from close to the high tide mark or from the adjacent edges of the coast. Was there a connection between the transition of the toolbox and the development of the ocean economies.

Figure  6.1  Blade,  Manufacturing  Process  224
Figure 6.1 Blade, Manufacturing Process 224

Port Mac Donnell

A detailed study of the free swimmers in the sublittoral is not available for the Southeast. We can now consider the most important aboriginal group in the entire lower southeast.

Table  2.2  Holocene  Chronology  from  Five  Fossil  Pollen  Sites  examined  by  Dodson
Table 2.2 Holocene Chronology from Five Fossil Pollen Sites examined by Dodson


Campbell collected stories about the Buandik from descendants of the first European settlers in the district and tried to relate them to the natural history of the coast before the change. Aboriginal life in the area, beginning with European settlement in the 1850s and ending with the extinction of traditional life at the turn of the century.



Given the shallow currents and fluctuating water levels in the marshes, boat travel was probably impossible. Buandik's ethnography shows that seasonal strategies may have worked differently according to the size and organization of elan groups. The Tanganekald lived in the Coorong (Tindale, l974) in an environment very similar to that of the Lower Southeast.

That this is a possible reconstruction of the Tanganekald brganization is seen in the archeology bf the Coorong near Salt Creek. It then remains to examine the impact on Buandik's winter residence of permanent water in the marshes. The hydrology of the swamps must have been an important factor in Buandik's winter vital behavior.

FIGURE  3.1  Map  of  Buandik  clan  territcries  at  coast  as  identified  by  Wallis  (quoted  in  Campbell,  1934)
FIGURE 3.1 Map of Buandik clan territcries at coast as identified by Wallis (quoted in Campbell, 1934)


At its deepest point at the base of the Woakwine Range, a shallow swamp extends across the interdune flat toward the Reedy Creek Range for a distance of about 15 km. Seaward, is a series of lakes or lagoons in the interdune corridor and beyond these are the sandhills of the Robe Range, and the sea front. In contrast to the sparse cover of the upper southeastern part, the coastal vegetation in the Buandik territory consists of relatively dense Melaleuca/.

The primary economic activities of Buandik summer settlement in this area most likely focused on the resources of the coastal fringe and the seaward slopes of the Woakwyn Range. Shown in Figure 3.2, it was available in the sea, sandhills, marshes or lagoons within easy access from almost anywhere on the Range. Using the Tanganekald model, summer camps were established near the boundaries of each of the major ecotones.



The timing of the summer occupation of the coast would coincide with the advent of warmer weather and the improvement of living conditions in the coastal margin. In light of this reconstruction of the Buandik subsistence strategies, we can consider the archaeological implications of settlement patterns in the coastal economy. For Buandik, these ecotones are located at the edge of the lagoon, the coastal scrub and the Woakwine Range.

Buandik habitation camps appear on the edge of the lagoon or in the undergrowth of the sandhills in summer, and on the Woakwine Range in winter. Campbell, who was a district doctor, to study any remaining traces of the Buandik. A summary of dated deposits in the Lower South East, Table 4.2, shows two distinct periods of occupation.

TABLE  4.1  Radiocarbon  dates  for  Mt.  Burr  Shelter  from  charcoal
TABLE 4.1 Radiocarbon dates for Mt. Burr Shelter from charcoal

Until the interrelationship of fauna, tools and hearths can be demonstrated by acceptable excavation methods, the archaeological picture of the early horizons at Cape Martin and Bevil-Aqua Cliffs is clouded by stratigraphic and geomorphological uncertainty, especially in terms of the exploited fauna. In light of the complex processes of burial described above, the excavation data do not provide convincing evidence of a relationship between habitation remains and the soil. The composition of the middle fauna can therefore be used to estimate the relative age of the respective occupations.

The published description of the archeology of the Lower Southeast reveals a rich and diverse range of camping debris in both the marshes and the coastal fringe. The features of the settlement resemble those found in many other areas of southern Australia morphologically, sedimentologically and chronologically, and these similarities will be examined in a later chapter. The results of the field survey in this research can now be considered in light of this framework.


Less extensive but equally comprehensive searches were made at the ends of the lagoon north of Cape Martin and south of Cape Buffon in the vicinity of Lake Frome. Because of the great variety of shoreline morphologies encountered, the entire coastline was surveyed between Cape Lannes in the north and Canunda Rock. Once positioned within a grid, a deposit receives that grid number as determined by the intersection of the longitudinal and longitudinal lines in the southwest corner of the square.

The most remarkable feature of the archaeological record is the fact that much of it survives intact on the surface and retains much of its original organization. The Woakwine Range southeast of Narrow Neck has been almost completely cleared of timber and converted to pasture, making occupation waste difficult to find due to increased grass. coverage or erosion. However, there is enough well-preserved archaeological material in all major areas of the district to provide a comprehensive description.






Fire-eclipsed piles of calcarenite nodules are also found within the interior zone of the Robe Series, but are physically unrelated to the shell middens. The few shell tools within the complex consist entirely of reef-dwelling molluscs, but they are not associated with the ovens. The third type of middle complex found on the Robe Range occurs in a narrow zone between the foreshore and the valley floor of the back dune, usually about lkm from the shoreline.

Almost all of these mounds of shellfish are exposed on the surface of the dune or on the surface of the terrarium soil below. Open camps within the confines of the lagoon are located on ridges overlooking the water. If this were the case, shell middens with lagoon molluscs would be expected to exist in large numbers on the inland edge of the lagoon at the foot of the Woakwine Range.


However, despite a thorough search of sewers, burial mounds, roadblocks and ramps, no shell fragments were found. If it is assumed that only the dominant molluscs in the lagoon could have provided huge amounts of food within easy reach of shellfish collectors, one can only conclude that their absence is an important indicator of their economic situation.


The deposits consist of numerous small hearths, biting debris, and tool debris, all seriously exposed to the surface. These are found throughout the ranges, including the Slave Range, usually near the crest of a ridge, and are associated with some biting debris. Finely cut edges characterize the tools in these assemblages and stratigraphically they belong to an early cultural horizon in the Cape Martin district of 8600 BP (Tindale, 1957b).


On Gran Gran itself, the veins have been completely drained, while in another dark underground cave, both knots and veins have been systematically removed from the walls. These extraordinary efforts to mine the locally scarce sources suggest that at some point in the past great importance was attached to flint.


The archaeological presence of Buandik in this image is clearly visible in the late phase occupation. The number applied to material removed from the archaeological record places this material in the overall organization of the excavation. Commercial quarrying began in the 1960s when water was pumped from the swamp and a deep trench was cut into the center of the deposit.

However, rising water forced a halt before the deeper part of the peat could be examined. John Dodson, sought to reconstruct the vegetation history of the swamp and to relate i t to possible human occupation. Excavations began on the dry deposits of the dune slope to locate the interface between the dune and the organic deposits of the swamp.

FIGURE  5.1  Map  and  shoreline  orofile  of  Wyrie  Swamp
FIGURE 5.1 Map and shoreline orofile of Wyrie Swamp


An overview of the swamp deposits (Figure S.lb) shows a shallow profile of a dense peat layer overlying a dark blue-grey clay. Dark, thin layers of the fibrous peat can be traced continuously through the exposures (Plate 5.2Q) dipping toward the center of the swamp. Quadratic numbers are shown along the surface of the swamp, and the center of the swamp is to the left of the drawings (north).

The original surface of the swamp was largely burned in these sections and was removed prior to excavation. The age of the peat surrounding this specimen is 7930±160BP (ANU-1377), representing the youngest dated tool from the swamp. The age of the lithic scatter buried in the sandy blue-gray clay below the shoreface is not easy to determine.

FIGURE  5.4  Stratigraphy  of  Trench  3,  Wyrie  Swamp  showing  cultural  remains  and  profile  of  sediments
FIGURE 5.4 Stratigraphy of Trench 3, Wyrie Swamp showing cultural remains and profile of sediments


Expressed as a percentage of the mean, this error is calculated as half the range. Two drugs, each containing one of the two species, were chosen to test this hypothesis. Charcoal extracted from below the surface of the hearth yielded an age of 3800±90BP (ANU-1234).

CHARCOAL FROM THE HEART DISCOVERED AT THE CENTER OF SCATIER GIVEN A DATE OF 3800 BP. In this exposed area, about 250m offshore, there are a number of mussel groups and piles of the type described at Canunda Rock and elsewhere on the backshore. The steps followed in calculating the estimates of the minimum number of animals in the Mounce and Battye middens are shown below in Table 5.6.


In the absence of this crucial evidence, the association of charcoal and one of the two molluscs was considered uncertain. Whole Subninella shells were collected from the northeast dune surface as depicted on the right in Figure 5.7b. The midden containing Subninella and Plebidonax in the remains of the buried soil was carefully excavated in search of charcoal fragments.

Therefore, the age of the Plebidonax shell dates the occupation in which turkeys were consumed. An examination of the archaeological deposits from the inner camp complex shows that the occupation took two forms. Plebidonax must then have survived on the Lower Southeast Beach until 1134 BC.

TABLE  5. 8  Correct1on  o  .  f  C  14  ages  of  s  e  h  11  s  from  Inland  Camps  Complex
TABLE 5. 8 Correct1on o . f C 14 ages of s e h 11 s from Inland Camps Complex


This figure allows certain assumptions to be made about the minimum dimension of the dune deposit. These data indicate the possibility of regular use of the site by shellfish gatherings during the occupation. An examination of the occupations of the Gulf of Abyssinia has revealed an exclusive focus on coastal resources available on the reefs immediately below the site today.

Large deposits of flint nodules occur in the bottom cuts of the chimney and in the upper wave zone of the beach 100 m north of the site. Shell scattering also occurs at the cliff line east of the site, marked as light dots on the map (Figure 5.lla). Layer dimensions were measured during excavation and selected samples of the tool assemblage were collected from the surface spread for examination.

TABLE  5.11  Minimal  number  of  animals  from  four  meals  expressed  as  a  mean  and  standard  deviation
TABLE 5.11 Minimal number of animals from four meals expressed as a mean and standard deviation


Figure  6.1  Blade,  Manufacturing  Process  224
Table  8.3  Body  weight  of  cooked  lobster
FIGURE  1.1  Map  of  South  East  Australia.
Figure  2.1  Map  of  Pleistocene  dune  ridges  and  coastline  of  the  Lower  South  East  of  South  Australia


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