Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-cfpbc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-23T22:11:17.165Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Themes in the prehistory of tropical Australia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

M. J. Morwood
Department of Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology, University of New England, Armidale 2351. Australia
D. R. Hobbs
Department of Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology, University of New England, Armidale 2351. Australia


The wetter tropical zones of northern Australia are linked by their monsoonal climates. Their archaeology shows its own distinctive pattern as well, and rock-art is an important source of evidence and insight. This study focusses on a part of Queensland, setting this local sequence alongside Arnhem Land (reported by the paper of Taçon & Brockwell) and in the northern pattern as a whole.

Research Article
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd. 1995

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Allen, H. & Barton, G. 1989. Ngarradj Warde Djohkeng: White Cockatoo Dreaming and the prehistory of Kakodu. Sydney: niversity of Sydney. Oceania Monograph 37.Google Scholar
Allen, J. 1994. Radiocarbon determinations, luminescence dating and Australian archaeology, Antiquity. 68: 339–43.Google Scholar
Allen, J. & Holdaway, S. 1995. The contamination of Pleistocene radiocarbon determinations in Australia, Antiquity. 69: 101–12.Google Scholar
Anderson, J.C. 1984. The political and economic basis of Kuku-Yalanji social history. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Queensland.Google Scholar
Beaton, J.M. 1982. Fire and water: aspects of Australian management of cycads, Archaeology in Oceania 17: 51–8.Google Scholar
Beaton, J.M. 1985. Evidence for a coastal occupation time-lag at Princess Charlotte Bay (North Qneensland) and implications for coastal colonisation and population growth theories for Aboriginal Australia, Archaeology in Oceania 20: 120.Google Scholar
Birdsell, J.B. 1977. The recalibration of a paradigm for the first peopling of Greater Australia, in Allen, J. et al. (ed.), Sunda and Sahul: prehistoric studies in southeast Asia, Melanesia find Australia: 113–67. London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Bowler, J. 1976. Recent developments in reconstructing late Quaternary environments in Australia, in Kirk, R.L. & Thorne, A.G. (ed.), The origin ofthe Australians: 5577. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aborigiiial Studies.Google Scholar
Bowler, J.M. et al. 1970. Pleistocene human remains from Australia: a living site and human cremation from Lake Mungo, western New South Wales, World Archaeology 2: 3960. Google Scholar
Brandl, E. 1973. Australian Aboriginal paintings in western and central Arnhem Land. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.Google Scholar
Chaloupka, G. 1984. From palaeoart to casualpaintings. Darwin: Northern Territory Museum of Arts and Sciences. Monograph Series 1.Google Scholar
Chaloupka, G. 1994. Journey in time: the world’s longest continuing art tradition. Port Melbourne: Reed.Google Scholar
Chappell, J. 1983. Sea-level changes, 0 to 40 ka, in Chappell & Grinrod (ed.): 121–2.Google Scholar
Chappell, J. & Grindrod, A. (Ded.). 1983. Climanz: proceedings of of the First Climanz Conferenc. Canberra: RSPacS, Australian National University..Google Scholar
Cole, N.A. & Watchman, A. & Morwood, M.J. 1995. Chronology of Laura rock-art, in Morwood & Hobbs (ed.): 147–60.Google Scholar
Cundy, B.J. 1990. An analysis of the Ingaladdi assemblage: a critique of the understanding of lithic technology. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Department of Prehistory and Anthropology, Australian National University.Google Scholar
David, B. 1990. Fern Cave. rock-art and social formations: rockart regionalisation and demographic models in southeastern Cape York Peninsula. Archaeology in Oceania 26: 4157.Google Scholar
David, B. 1993. Nurrabullgin Cave: preliminary results from a pre-37,000 year old rock-shelter. Archaelogy Oceania 28: 50–4.Google Scholar
David, B. 1994. A space-time odyssey: rock-art and regionalisation in North Queensland prehistory. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Department of Anthropology and Sociology. University of Queensland.Google Scholar
Dortch, C.E. 1977. Early and late industrial phases in Western Australia, in Wright, R.V.S. (ed.), Stone tools as cultural markers: 104–32. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. Google Scholar
Flenniken, J.J. & White, J.P. 1985. Australian flaked stone tools: a technological perspective, Records of the Australian Museum 36: 131–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flood, J.M. & Horsfall, N. 1986. Excavations of Green Ant and Echidna shelters, Queensland Archaeological Research 3: 464.Google Scholar
Gollan, K. 1984. The Australian dingo: in the shadow of man, in Archer, M. & Clayton, G. (ed.), Vertebrate zoogeogruphy and evolution in Australosia: 921–7. Hesperian Press.Google Scholar
Gould, R. 1977. Puntutjarpa Rock-shelter and the Australim Desert Culture. New York: American Museum of Natural History. Anthropological Papers 54.Google Scholar
Hayden, B. 1989. From chopper to Celt: the evolution of the resharpening techniques, in Torrence, R. (ed.). Time, energy and stone tools: 716. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
Hiscock, P. 1989. Preliminary report on the stone artefacts from Colless Creek Cavc, Queensland Archaeologicol Reseorrh 1: 120–51. Google Scholar
Hiscock, P. 1985. The need for a taphonomic perspective in stone artefact analysis, Queensland Archaeological Research 2: 8297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hiscock, P. 1992. Settlement patterns in the Kakadu wetlands: initial data on site size and shape, Australiun Aborigincil Sfurlies 1992: 84–9.Google Scholar
Hiscock, P. & Kershaw, A.P. 1992. Palaeoenvironments and prehistory of Australia’s tropical top end, in Dodson, J. (ed.), The noïve lands: 4375. Melhourne: Longman Cheshire.Google Scholar
Hope, G., Hughes, P.J. & Russell-Smith, J. 1985. Geomorphic fieldwork and the evolution of the landscape of Kakadu National Park, in Jones (ed.): 220–40.Google Scholar
Jones, R. (ed.). 1985. Archaeological research in Kakadu Notional Park. Canberra: Australian National Parks and Wildlife Department. Special Publication 13.Google Scholar
Jones, R. & Johnson, I. 1985. Deaf Adder Gorge: Lindner Site, Nauwalabila I, in Jones (ed.): 165218.Google Scholar
Kamminga, J. 1978. Journey into microcosms: a functional analysis of some classes of prehistoric Australian stone tools. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney.Google Scholar
Kamminga, J. & Allen, H. 1973. Alligator Rivers Environmentcil Fact-finding Study: report of the archaeologicnl survey. Canberra: Government Printer.Google Scholar
Lewis, D. 1988. The rockpaintings ofArnheni Land, Australin. British Archaeological Reports. BAR International Series 415.Google Scholar
Lommel, A. 1961. Rock-art of Australia, in Bandi, H.G. et al. (ed.), The art of the Stone Age: 205–31. London: Crown.Google Scholar
Lorblanchet, M. 1992. The rock engravings of Gum Tree Valley and Skew Valley, Dampier, Western Australia: chronology and function of the sites, in Mcdonald, J. & Haskovic, L.P. (ed.), State ofthe art: regional rock-art sfudies in Australia and Oceania: 3959. Melbourne: AURA. Occasional Publication 6.Google Scholar
Lourandos, H. 1983. Intensification: a late Pleistocene-Holocene archaeological sequence from southwestern Victoria, Archaeolog, in Oceania 18: 8197.Google Scholar
Mccarthy, F.D. 1939. ‘Trade’ in Aboriginal Australia and ‘trade’ relationships with Torres Strait. New Guinea and Malays, Oceania 10: 17195.Google Scholar
Mccarthy, F.D. 1979. Australian Aboriginal rock-art. 4th edition. Sydney: The Australian Museum.Google Scholar
Mcconvell, P. 1990. The linguistic prehistory of Australia: opportunities for dialogue with archaeology, Australian Arcliaeology, 31: 328.Google Scholar
Macknight, C.C. 1976. The voyage to Marege: Macossan troders to northern Australia. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.Google Scholar
Magee, J.W. & Hughes, P.J. 1982. Thin-section analysis and the geomorphic history of the Colless Creek archaeological site in northwestern Queensland, in Ambrose, W. & Duerden, P. (ed.), Archaeometry: an Australian perspective: 120–28. Canberra: Department of Prehistory, RSPacS, Australian National University.Google Scholar
Maynard, L. 1979. The archaeology of Australian Aboriginal art, in Mead, S.M. (ed.), Exploring the visual art of OCeania: 83110. Honolulu (HI): University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
Morgan, G. et al. 1995. The biophysical environment, in Morwood & Hobhs (ed.): 517.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J. 1987. The archaeology of social complexity in SE Queensland, Proceedings oJ the Prehistoric Society. 53: 337–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morwood, M.J. 1989. The archaeology of Aboriginal art in SE Cape York Peninsula: a research proposal, Rock-art Research 6: 71–2.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J. 1990. The prehistory of Aboriginal land-use on the upper Flinders River, North Queensland Highlands, Queensland Archaeological Research 7: 357.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J. 1992. Introductory essay, in Morwood & Hobbs (ed.): 16.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J. & Dagg, L. 1995. Excavations at Yam Camp, in Morwood & Hobbs (ed.): 107–15.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J. & Hobbs, D.R. (ed.). 1992. The ethnography of rock-art. Melbourne: AURA. Occasional Publication 5.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J. & Hobbs, D.R. (ed.). 1995. Quinkan prehistory: the urchaeology of Aboriginal cirt in SE Cape York Peninsula, Australia. Brisbane: Anthropology Museum. University of Queensland. Tenipus 3.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J., Hobbs, D.R. & Price, D.M. 1995a. Excavations at Sandy Creek 1 and 2, in Morwood & Hobbs (ed.): 7192.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J. & Jung, S. 1995. Excavations at Magnificent Gallery, in Morwood & Hobbs (ed.): 93100.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J. & L’Oste-Brown, S. 1995a. Excavations at Red Horse, in Morwood & Hobbs (ed.): 116–25.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J. & L’Oste-Brown, S. 1995b. Excavations at Mushroom Rock, in Morwood & Hobbs (ed.): 133–46.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J. & Trezise, P.J. 1989. Edge-ground axes in Pleistocenc Greater Australia: new evidence froin SE Cape York Peninsula, Queensland Archoeological Research 6: 7790.Google Scholar
Morwood, M.J., Walsh, G.L. & Watchman, A. 1994. The dating potential of rock-art in the Kimberley, NW Australia, Rock Art Research 11: 7987.Google Scholar
Mountford, C.P. 1959. The rock-art of Australia, Unpublished thesis, Department of Anthropology, Cambridge University.Google Scholar
Nelson, D.E. et al. 1995. Radiocarbon dates for beeswax figures in the prehistoric rock art of northern Australia, Archaeonietry 37: 151–6.Google Scholar
O’Connor, S. 1990. 30,000 years in the Kimberley: il prehistory of the islands of the Buccanwr Archipelago and adjaccnt mainland, West Kiniberley, Western Australia. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Centue for prehistory. University of Western Australia.Google Scholar
O’Connor, S., Veth, P. & Hubbard, N. 1993. Changing interpretations of postglacial human subsislence and ticmography in Sahul, in Smith et al. (ed.): 95105.Google Scholar
Odell, G.H. 1994. Prehistoric hafting and mobility in the North American Midcontinent: examples from Illinois, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 13: 5173. Google Scholar
Pearson, W. 1989. A technological analysis of stone artefacts from Yam Camp Surface Scatter and Rock-shelter, SE Cape York Peninsula, Queensland Archoeologiccil Research 6: 111102. Google Scholar
Pearson, W. 1990. Prehistoric Aboriginal land and resource use in south east Cape York Peninsula: a technological view, Unpublished BA (Hons.) thesis, Department of Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology. University of New England.Google Scholar
Roberts, R.G., Jones, R. & Smith, M.A. 1990. Thermolnminesence dating of a 50,000-year-old human occupation site in northern Australia, Nature 345: 153–6.Google Scholar
Roberts, R.G. l994a. Beyond the radiocarbon barrier in Australian pretory, Antiquity 68: 611–16.Google Scholar
Roberts, R. et al. l994b. The human colonisation of Australia: optical dates of 53,000 and 60,000 years bracket human arrival at Deaf Adder Gorge, Northern Territory, Quaternary Science Review 13: 575–83.Google Scholar
Rosenfeld, A. 1993. A review ofthe evidence for the emergence of rock-art in Australia, in Smith et al. (ed.): 7180.Google Scholar
Rosenfeld, A., Horton, D. & Winter, J. 1981. Early man in north Queensland. Canberra: Department of Prehistory, RSPacS, Australian National University. Terra Australis 6.Google Scholar
Schrire, C. 1982. The Alligator Rivers:prehistoryand ecology in western Amhem Land. Canberra: Department of Prehistory, RSPacS, Australian National University. Terra Australis 7.Google Scholar
Smith, C.E. 1991. Colonising with style: reviewing the nexus tictween rock-art. territoriality, and the colonisation and omupation of Sahul, Australian Archaeology 34: 3442.Google Scholar
Smith, C.E. 1992. Testing the information theory of style: an Australian case study, in Morwood & Hobbs (ed.): 3945.Google Scholar
Smith, M.A., Spriggs, M. & Fankhauser, B. (ed.). 1993. Sahul in review. Canberra, Department of Prehistory, RSPacS. Australian National University.Google Scholar
Stephens, K. & Head, L. 1995. Palaeo-ecology of archaeological and swamp sites in SE Cape York Peninsula, in Morwood & Hobbs (ed.): 1832.Google Scholar
Taçon, P.S.C. & Head, L. 1988. Identifying fish species in the recent rockart paintings of Western Amhem Land, Rock-art Research 5: 315.Google Scholar
Taçon, P.S.C. & Head, L. 1989. From Rainbow Snakes to ‘X-Ray’ Fish: the nature of the recent rock painting tradition of Western Arnhem Land. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Department of Prehistory and Anthropology, Australian National University.Google Scholar
Thomson, D.F. 1939. The seasonal factor in human culture. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 5: 209–21.Google Scholar
Tindale, N.B. 1979. Aboriginal tribes of Australia - their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits and proper names. Berkeley (CA): University of California Press.Google Scholar
Von Sturmer, J.R. 1978. The Wik region: economy, territoriality and toteniism in western Cape York Peninsula, North Queensland. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Queens laud.Google Scholar
Watchman, A. 1993. Evidence of a 25,000 year-old pictograph from northern Australia. Geoarchoeology 6: 465–73.Google Scholar
Woodroffe, C.D., Chappell, J. & Thom, B.G. 1988. Shell middens in the context of estuarine development, South Alligator River, Northern Territory, Archaeology in Oceanio 23: 95–103.Google Scholar
Yellen, J. & Harpening, H. 1972. Hunter-gatherer populations and archaeological inference, World Archaeology 4: 244–53.Google Scholar