CAR Seminar series

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences and ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Carpenters Gap 1: a 47.000 year old record of Indigenous Adaptation and Innovation

Here we present the first detailed analysis of the archaeological finds from Carpenters Gap 1 rockshelter, one of the oldest radiocarbon dated sites from Australia and one of the few sites in the Sahul region to preserve plant remains into the Pleistocene. While CG1 has featured in several studies, the full complement of 100 radiocarbon dates is presented here for the first time, with the stratigraphic context within the excavation, and a Bayesian chronological model. Occupation at the site began between 50,000 and 45,000 cal BP and continued into the Last Glacial Maximum, and throughout the Holocene. We present analyses of the archaeological assemblage from Square A2, the oldest and deepest square excavated. Together with the chronological model, these data depict a remarkable record of adaption in technology, mobility, and diet breadth, spanning 47,000 years. We discuss the dating and settlement record from CG1 and other northern Australian sites within the context of the new dates for occupation of Madgebebe in Arnhem Land at 65,000 years BP, and implications for colonisation and dispersal within Sahul. 

Presented by Dr Tim Maloney (ANU, ANH, Sue O'Connor, Rachel Wood, Ken Aplin and Jane Balme)