Reorganising foraging during the Late Holocene: The archaeology of NEP23, Central Australia

Mike Smith, June Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Increasing populations in Central Australia after 1,500 cal BP led to the development of more closely spaced foraging territories, with a consequent shift towards more intensive exploitation of bush foods. We suggest that such pressure would also lead to concomitant shifts in the use of peripheral areas within individual foraging estates. A small archaeological excavation at NEP23, on Watarrka Plateau in Central Australia, provides a glimpse of this dynamic. Use of this site began around 1,350 cal BP. Given this site’s marginal location, initiation of occupation at NEP23 reflects pressure to extend the exploitation of foraging territory otherwise centred on major springs and rock holes along the base of the Watarrka Plateau.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Archaeology
Early online date29 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Archaeology
  • Central Australia
  • intensification
  • land-use
  • Last millennium

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