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RSWA Talk: The dynamics of drowned archaelogical landscapes NW Australia

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Kings Park Administration Centre

1 Kattidj Close

Kings Park

Perth, WA 6005

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The dynamics of drowned archaeological landscapes and early marine resource use in NW Australia

presented by Dr Ingrid Ward (1.,2.), Professor Peter Veth (2.), Dr Mick O’Leary (3.)

(in collaboration with DHSC project team)

Occupation in Australia is now dated back to 65 ka and for the bulk of this period sea level was lower than present. Nearly one-third of Australia’s landmass, hence a significant part of the archaeological record, was drowned by the post-glacial transgression. Over the next few years, a pioneering, multi-disciplinary study of submerged landscape archaeology will investigate the records of the now-submerged Pilbara coast in NW Australia – a region with a long antiquity of occupation spanning 50 to 7 ka. The ARC-funded project employs high-resolution remote sensing data, coastal (land-based) and marine survey, and analogy of known archaeological sites on land as well as under water in Europe as a means to identify potential submerged midden sites and stone features in the Dampier Archipelago region, NW Australia. The project is further informed by ongoing ARC projects in the Barrow - Montebello Is. complex and in the Dampier Archipelago. Collectively these projects allow for more targeted prospection of submerged cultural sites and characterisation of drowned coastlines.

  1. Archaeology, Flinders University, SA 5042 ingrid.ward@flinders.edu.au; jonathan.benjamin@flinders.edu.au; jorg.hacker@flinders.edu.au; geoff.bailey@flinders.edu.au
  2. Archaeology, Uni of Western Australia WA 6009 ingrid.ward@uwa.edu.au; peter.veth@uwa.edu.au; jo.mcdonald@uwa.edu.au)
  3. Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University WA 6102 mick.oleary@curtin.edu.au
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Kings Park Administration Centre

1 Kattidj Close

Kings Park

Perth, WA 6005

Australia

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