Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The Lithic Assemblage of the Western Desert Aborigines of Australia

  • Richard A. Gould (a1), Dorothy A. Koster (a1) and Ann H. L. Sontz (a1)

Abstract

Statistical and microscopic studies of ethnographic Australian Aboriginal stone tools reveal patterns which correlate significantly with the known uses, techniques of manufacture, and native classification of these tools. Statistically, the most significant correlation occurs between the angle of the working edge of the tool and the classification and function of the tool. Steep-edge flakes are classified as purpunpa and serve as woodworking scrapers, while flakes with acute edge-angles are classed as tjimari and are used as knives for cutting skin and tendons. Microscopic study has further revealed that woodworking scrapers show a distinctive pattern of use-wear. Some trial comparisons are also attempted between ethnographic Aboriginal woodworking scrapers and Quina-type scrapers of Bordes' Quina-Ferrassie facies of the Mousterian in order to suggest the value of comparing ethnographically known tools with archaeological specimens.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Aiston, G. 1928 Chipped stone tools of the aboriginal tribes east and northeast of Lake Eyre, South Australia, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania pp. 123–131.
Aiston, G. 1929 Method of mounting stone tools on Koondi. Tribes east and northeast of Lake Eyre, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania pp. 44–46.
Allchin, Bridget 1957 Australian stone industries, past and present, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 87:115136.
Bordes, Francois 1968 The old stone age. McGraw-Hill.
Clark, Grahame 1967 The stone age hunters. Thames and Hudson.
Crosby, Eleanor 1967 A new technique for measuring striking platform and scraper angles on stone tools. Journal of the Polynesian Society 76:102103.
Gould, Richard A. 1966 Some stone artifacts of the Wongkonguru of South Australia. American Museum of Natural History Novitates 2249:19.
Gould, Richard A. 1968 Chipping stones in the outback. Natural History 77(2):4249.
Horne, G., and Aiston, G. 1924 Savage life in Central Australia. Macmillan.
McCarthy, F.D. 1967 Australian Aboriginal stone implements. The Australian Museum.
Meggitt, Mervyn J. 1955 Djanba among the Walbiri, Central Australia. Anthropos 50:375403.
Mulvaney, D. J. 1969 The prehistory of Australia. Thames and Hudson.
Oakley, Kenneth P. 1967 Man the tool-maker. The British Museum (Natural History).
Semenov, S. A. 1964 Prehistoric technology. Barnes and Noble.
Spencer, W. Baldwin, and Gillen, F. J. 1904 The northern tribes of Central Australia. Macmillan.
Thomson, Donald F. 1964 Some wood and stone implements of the Bindibu tribe of central Western Australia. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society for 1964, Vol. 30:400422.
Tindale, Norman B. 1941 The hand axe used in the Western Desert of Australia. Mankind 3:3741.
Tindale, Norman B. 1965 Stone implement making among the Nakako, Ngadadjara, and Pitjandjara of the Great Western Desert. Records of the South Australian Museum, Vol. 15:131164.
Wilmsen, Edwin N. 1968a Lithic analysis in paleoanthropology. Science 161:982987.
Wilmsen, Edwin N. 1968b Functional analysis of flaked stone artifacts. American Antiquity 33:156161.

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed