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RIVERAIN: Water availability and Aboriginal prehistory of the Murray River, Lake Victoria area, western New South Wales

Keryn Cristine, Kefous

Description

Lake Victoria lies in the heart of the Murray Darling Basin. During the height of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) up to 3 metres of wind-blown sand and dust was deposited along the top of the lunette on the eastern shore of Lake Victoria, creating an unparalleled environment for preserving archaeological remains. Aboriginal shell middens and faunal remains in stratigraphic context provide a record of human adaptation to the extreme climate variability which prevailed between 17,000 and 14,500...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorKeryn Cristine, Kefous
dc.date.accessioned2012-04-26T02:18:46Z
dc.date.available2012-04-26T02:18:46Z
dc.identifier.otherb12873342
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/9001
dc.description.abstractLake Victoria lies in the heart of the Murray Darling Basin. During the height of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) up to 3 metres of wind-blown sand and dust was deposited along the top of the lunette on the eastern shore of Lake Victoria, creating an unparalleled environment for preserving archaeological remains. Aboriginal shell middens and faunal remains in stratigraphic context provide a record of human adaptation to the extreme climate variability which prevailed between 17,000 and 14,500 BP. Fieldwork at Lake Victoria centred on Gills Gully, a 1 sq km area in the central, highest area of the Lake Victoria lunette. Six LGM dates were obtained from Velesunio shell recovered from middens within this area and a stratigraphic sequence was developed for the upper ten metres of the lunette. Several shell middens were excavated in order to investigate environmental conditions and Aboriginal adaptations during the height of the LGM. LGM middens had been so gently buried by settling dust that ash, tiny bone fragments and delicate dots of scarlet ochre were preserved, and tiny air bubbles can be seen in the dusty grey overburden. Middens were composed of closely packed freshwater mussel shell interspersed with fine ash, charcoal and finely divided ochre. Remains of small macropods (hare wallaby), yabby, lizard, frog and more rarely fish and bird were present - average length of faunal fragments was less than 6 mm. A polished bone point was recovered from a shell lens dated to 16,170+/- 190 (ANU 2876). With the exception of a tiny fragment of sandstone no stone artefacts were recovered from Pleistocene middens. Between 16,000 and 15,000 BP there was a marked change in the pattern of human occupation around Lake Victoria. Chemical and physical analysis of the midden shell and the overburden shows that that the increase in midden density cannot be explained by site preservation factors. By 15,000 years earlier patterns of large, scattered charcoal-rich occupation deposits had been replaced by smaller, more numerous shell middens around 1 metre in diameter, in places so thickly clustered as to form overlapping lenses of well preserved compacted freshwater shells up to 60 cm thick, a much more intense pattern of exploitation. During the last phases of the Last Glacial Maximum Lake Victoria was an oasis an increasingly desiccated late Pleistocene landscape. It is likely that local population increased at this time and that people turned increasingly to freshwater mussels for sustenance.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.subjectLake Victoria
dc.subjectarchaeology
dc.subjectlast glacial maximum
dc.subjectAboriginal
dc.subjectshell middens
dc.subjectPleistocene
dc.subjectlunette
dc.subjectradiocarbon dates
dc.subjectpopulation change
dc.subjectMurray Darling basin
dc.subjectice ages
dc.subjectclimate change
dc.subjectbone point
dc.subjectNew South Wales
dc.titleRIVERAIN: Water availability and Aboriginal prehistory of the Murray River, Lake Victoria area, western New South Wales
dc.typeThesis (Masters)
dcterms.valid1983
local.description.notesOne page of this thesis (page 83a) has been suppressed due to sensitive information. The whole thesis_original_Kefous file contains the original document and can be provided to researchers on request.
local.description.refereedyes
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1983
local.contributor.affiliationDepartment of Prehistory and Anthropology
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d78dc975bec3
local.identifier.proquestYes
local.mintdoimint
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File Description SizeFormat Image
Riverainpp200-222Bibliograqphy.pdfBibliography7.98 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Riverainpp199a,bAppendixCArtefactsCollected.pdfAppendix C295.92 kBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Riverainpp187-199AppendixBshellandbone.pdfAppendix B8.32 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Riverainpp180-186AppendixASediment.pdfAppendix A3.19 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Riverainpp165-179Chapter8.pdfChapter 86.96 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Riverainpp144-164Chapter7.pdfChapter 79.7 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Riverainpp126-143Chapter6.pdfChapter 69.31 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Riverainpp97-125Chapter5.pdfChapter 518.42 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Riverainpp70-96Chapter4-suppressed.pdfChapter 416.18 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Riverainpp50-69Chapter3.pdfChapter 39.24 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Riverainpp31-49Chapter2.pdfChapter 215.15 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Riverainpp16-30Chapter1.pdfChapter 19.48 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
frontmatter_Kefous.pdfFront matter3.43 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Wholethesis_original_Kefous.pdfWhole Thesis - THIS VERSION CONTAINS SUPPRESSED INFORMATION ADMIN ACCESS ONLY108.08 MBAdobe PDF    Request a copy
Wholethesis_Kefous.pdfWhole thesis110.7 MBAdobe PDFThumbnail


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