This paper reports on the recording of previously unpublished Aboriginal stone hut structures in southwestern Queensland. Located along a tributary of the Georgina River, these 17 structures are typical of the region, being generally circular in plan view, with an average diameter of 5m and a 1m-wide opening consistently positioned to afford protection from prevailing winds. Evidence suggests these structures were roofed with vegetation and, while they pre-date the contact period, appear also to have been used into at least the late 1800s. Artefacts associated with them include stone flakes, cores and edge-ground axe fragments, freshwater mussel shells, rifle cartridge cases, fragments of glass, and metal objects. A comparison of these stone hut structures is made with similar features from elsewhere in Australia, demonstrating that there was a widespread but consistent use of stone for construction. This short report contributes to an increasing awareness of, and literature about, built structures in traditional Aboriginal societies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported under the Australian Research Council's Discovery Project titled 'The Archaeology of the Native Mounted Police' (project number DP160100307). It is based on fieldwork originally undertaken in 1989 by authors Davidson, Burke and Mitchell and funded by the Australian Heritage Commission. Pastoralists Bill and Rhonda Alexander, and Robert Jansen are thanked for their generosity in allowing us to carry out the work. We are grateful to Tom Sullivan (deceased), James Taylor, Keith Marshall and Harry Spencer for their insights and contributions. Thanks to the three referees for their comments, and to Sean Ulm for editorial feedback.
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