Backed points in the Kimberley: Revisiting the north-south division for backed artefact production in Australia




Maloney, Tim
O'Connor, Susan

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Australian Archaeology Association


Dortch (1977:117) first identified the �Kimberley backed point� from the east Kimberley as an asymmetrical point form with steep-angled backing retouch along one dorsal margin. O�Connor (1999) subsequently recorded backed points as a component of the mid- to late Holocene assemblages in sites from the coastal west Kimberley. However, the distribution and morphology of backed point technology, and the relationship of backed points to other forms of point technology, has not been assessed for the broader Kimberley region. Here we use morphological analysis and measures of retouch intensity to examine the differences between backed points and other forms of point technology. We use three assemblages from the south Kimberley and reassess two assemblages from the west Kimberley, and argue that backed points are a discrete and specialised reduction trajectory of point technology which were produced throughout the Kimberley region. Although produced from the same pool of flake blanks as other point forms, the backed variant focused on the production of a maintainable blunted margin with a steep-angled retouched edge of between 75 and 90�.





Australian Archaeology


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Open Access

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