Flaked glass artifacts from nineteenth century Native Mounted Police camps in Queensland, Australia

Yinika Perston, Lynley A. Wallis, Heather Burke, Colin McLennan, Elizabeth Hatte, Bryce Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The invasion of the Australian continent by Europeans caused massive disruptions to Indigenous cultures and ways of life. The adoption of new raw materials, often for the production of “traditional” artifact forms, is one archaeological indicator of the changes wrought by “colonization.” Two camp sites associated with the Queensland Native Mounted Police (NMP), a punitive paramilitary government force that operated through the latter half of the nineteenth century in the northeastern part of the continent, contain abundant flaked glass artifacts. These were undoubtedly manufactured by the Aboriginal men who were employed as troopers in the NMP, and/or their wives and children. Produced using traditional stone working techniques applied to a novel raw material, these artifacts are a tangible demonstration of the messy entanglements experienced by people living and working in this particular — and in some ways unique — cross-cultural context. For the Aboriginal troopers stationed in alien landscapes, the easy accessibility of glass afforded a means by which they could maintain cultural practices and exert independence from their employers, unencumbered by traditional normative behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archaeology
Volume2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Native Mounted Police
  • Queensland
  • Glass artefacts
  • Knapped glass
  • Australia
  • Indigenous peoples

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