Archaeology News

Archaeology: Bone Tech at Madjedbebe, N. Australia

Published February 8, 2023
An interesting new article published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology by Michelle Langley, Lynley Wallis, May Nango and in collaboration with Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation.
Their work examines an assemblage of over 200 bone artefacts, recovered during excavations of Madjebebe, located in the Mirarr clan estate of the Northern Territory and is one of the largest osseous assemblages recovered from an Australian site.
The team identified 199 of the artefacts to tool type, dating between ~6,800 BP and the present and their work provides greater detail about the use of bone within the everyday lives of the Mirarr people in Holocene Australia.
Archeological assemblages of osseous material culture are rare in the Australian con-text, especially in the north where environmental conditions are not usually conducive to organic preservation. Nevertheless, more than 230 bone artifacts were recovered from the site of Madjedbebe, located in the Mirarr clan estate of the Alligator Rivers region of the Northern Territory. Of these artifacts, 199 have been identified to tool type. Here, we present the analysis of this exceptional assemblage, including the recovery of one-piece jabbing fishhooks, numerous fishing-spear tips, fragments of weaving tools, and possible osseous elements originating from ornamental pieces. The size and diversity of the Madjedbebe osseous technology assemblage is unique in the north and provides new insights into the lives of Mirarr peoples over the past 7,000 years.
Read the full article here:

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