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A Typological Analysis of Axes and Choppers from Southeast Australia*

  • Donald J. Tugby (a1)
Abstract

Three major factors have influenced the classification of stone artifacts in Australia. The first is the presence in the country of a contemporary stone-using people, the Australian aborigines. Early, relatively complete, and ethnologically valid studies of their life (Spencer and Gillen 1899), have given Australian artifact studies a functional flavor; so much so, that descriptive classifications have been proposed, whose major categories were in completely functional terms (Kenyon and Stirling 1900). Quite properly, Australian workers have sought functional comparisons between implements in current use and those whose function could not be discovered by ethnological enquiry, either because their makers had become culturally disintegrated, as in southeast Australia, or because their function was unknown to the living aborigines in the area concerned (see, for instance, the discussion of the mounted elouera in Setzler and McCarthy 1950).

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*

The author is indebted to D, W. McElwain, Department of Psychology, University of Queensland, who worked with him on the matrix sorting, to F. D. McCarthy, Curator of Anthropology, Australian Museum, Sydney, who made available a number of specimens in his charge, and to the late George W. Brainerd, who provided literature not available in Australia and otherwise encouraged the author.

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Belous R. E. 1953 The Central California Chronological Sequence Re-examined. American Antiquity, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 341–53. Menasha.
Brainerd G. W. 1951 The Place of Chronological Ordering in Archaeological Analysis. American Antiquity, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 301–13. Menasha.
Hale H. M. And Tindale N. B. 1930 Notes on some Human Remains in the Lower Murray Valley, South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum, Vol. 4, pp. 145218. Adelaide.
Kenyon A. S. And Stirling D. L. 1900 Australian Aboriginal Stone Implements. A Suggested Classification. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, Vol. 13, Pt. 2, pp. 191200. Melbourne.
Mccarthy F. D. 1948 The Stone Implements of Australia. Memoirs of the Australian Museum, No. 9. Sydney.
Mitchell S. R. 1949 Stone Age Craftsmen. Tait, Melbourne.
Movius H. L. Jr. 1948 The Lower Paleolithic Cultures of Southern and Eastern Asia. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 38, Pt. 4, pp. 329420. Philadelphia.
Robinson W. S. 1951 A Method for Chronologically Ordering Archaeological Deposits. American Antiquity, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 293301. Menasha.
Setzler F. M. And Mccarthy F. D. 1950 A Unique Archaeological Specimen from Australia. Journal of the Washington Academy of Science, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 15. Washington.
Spaulding A. C. 1953 Statistical Techniques for the Discovery of Artifact Types. American Antiquity, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 305-13. Menasha.
Spencer Baldwin, And Gillen F. J. 1899 The Native Tribes of Central Australia. Macmillan, London.
Willey G. R. 1953 Archeological Theories and Interpretation: New World. In Anthropology Today, edited by Kroeber A. L., pp. 361-85. University of Chicago Press.
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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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