An Aboriginal presence in the Sydney basin prior to the LGM; further investigations into the age and formation of the Parramatta Sand Body

M. Quinn, T. Owen, j. Flanagan, K. E. Westaway

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Abstract

The Parramatta Sand Body (PSB) in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia is an ancient sedimentary sand deposit bordering parts of the Parramatta River which today flows into Sydney Harbour. Whilst the lower portions of the sand deposit pre-date human occupation, some locations with near surface sand deposits contain dense Aboriginal archaeological sites with a profusion of stone tools and remains of hearths. We explored the timing of human occupation in Parramatta by applying optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages to archaeological evidence from site AT14. Interpretation of the OSL data was guided by particle size analysis and the resulting age estimates agreed with the radiocarbon dating of charcoal sampled from archaeological deposits at AT14, to provide a secure age for human occupation evidence in the Sydney region at 31 ± 2 ka. Results link the single grain overdispersion found in quartz OSL samples to trampling actions resultant of Aboriginal occupation and forms a future consideration for the effective dating of archaeological sites.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104195
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume51
Early online date8 Sept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Aboriginal cultural landscapes
  • Archaeology
  • Australia
  • Optically stimulated luminescence
  • Parramatta Sand Body

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