Rockshelter Excavations in the East Hamersley Range, Pilbara Region, Western Australia
edited by Dawn Cropper and W. Boone Law, foreword by Maitland Parker and Slim Parker, Martidja Banyjima Elders. Paperback; 205x290mm; iv+454 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. (Print RRP £90.00). 458 2018. Available both in print and Open Access.
Printed ISBN 9781784919764. £90.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784919771.
Rockshelter Excavations in the East Hamersley Range offers a detailed study of six exceptional rockshelter sites from the inland Pilbara Region of Western Australia. It provides highly descriptive, chapter-length accounts of archaeological investigations at Jundaru, Djadjiling, HS-A1, HD073APAD13, PAD 3, and HD073A03 rockshelters, which were excavated as part of a mitigative salvage program conducted at the Hope Downs 1 mine between 2007 and 2010. The research findings show that early Aboriginal peoples initially occupied the area ca. 45,000 years ago, demonstrating that the east Hamersley Range contains some of the oldest known Aboriginal archaeological sites in the Australian arid zone. The story of the Pleistocene and Holocene Aboriginal occupation at Hope Downs 1 is long and complex. Using an extensive radiocarbon and OSL chronology that spans from >47,000 years ago to the recent past, the story of the Aboriginal archaeological record is explored via prominent changes in lithic technology, artefact use-wear/residues, combustion features, faunal remains, rockshelter geomorphology, archaeomagnetism, and pollen/phytolith analysis. The work investigates the early occupation of the region and examines the archaeological evidence for occupation during the last glacial maximum. It chronicles significant changes in Aboriginal stone artefact technology over time with its analysis of more than 35,000 chipped stone artefacts.
Consisting of 18 chapters, the volume is rich with colour photographs, illustrations, and figures, including high-resolution images of the rockshelter sites, excavations, stratigraphic sections, cultural features, and artefacts. It includes a foreword by the Martidja Banyjima elders, who contextualise the cultural importance of this work to Banyjima Peoples and Traditional Owners of the region. The monograph also includes comprehensive synthesis of the regional archaeological record by the editors and a chapter on Banyjima culture and traditions by consulting anthropologists Dr Nadia Butler, Dr Neale Draper, and Fiona Sutherland. Many specialist studies were commissioned for the Hope Downs work, including an archaeomagnetism report by Dr Andy Herries (LaTrobe University), a faunal analysis study by Dr. Matthew McDowell (University of Tasmania), a phytolith analysis by Dr Lynley Wallis (University of Notre Dame Australia), a palynological study by Dr Simon Haberle, Feli Hopf, and Dr Phil Roberts (Australian National University), artefact usewear/residue analysis by Dr Richard Fullagar (University of Wollongong), optically stimulated luminescence dating by Frances Williams (University of Adelaide), and a rockshelter geomorphological study by Prof Martin Williams (University of Adelaide).
About the Editors
DAWN CROPPER is the Director of Archaeology at leading consulting company, New Zealand Heritage Properties, which has branches in Dunedin, Christchurch, and Invercargill. As Director, Dawn’s responsibilities include the management of all archaeology teams across the branches, development of process and training, as well as the development of proprietary methodology for archaeological risk management across large areas. She also specialises in heritage impact assessments and is a leading expert in the management of large-scale archaeological projects throughout New Zealand. Dawn holds a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Sydney (Australia) and a Master’s in Archaeology from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), with a focus on technological analysis of flaked stone tools. From 2007 to 2013 she worked as a senior archaeologist and lithic specialist for Australian Cultural Heritage Management Pty Ltd, co-managing and supervising the Hope Downs 1 rockshelter excavations with W. Boone Law.
W. BOONE LAW is a scientist and heritage professional that specialises in the Aboriginal archaeology of the Australian Arid Zone. His qualifications include a BA in Anthr