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Usewear and Residue Analysis of Stone Artefacts from the Enclosed Chamber, Rocky Cape, Tasmania

Richard Fullagar and Rhys Jones
Archaeology in Oceania
Vol. 39, No. 2 (Jul., 2004), pp. 79-93
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40387284
Page Count: 15
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Usewear and Residue Analysis of Stone Artefacts from the Enclosed Chamber, Rocky Cape, Tasmania
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Abstract

The Enclosed Chamber from the Rocky Cape South excavations of Rhys Jones (1971) contained a sealed, intact, 6,000 year old living area with excellent organic preservation and minimal post depositional disturbance. From a selection of 150 stones, RF identified 43 used implements with a total of 55 utilised edges/surfaces, after examining usewear and a preliminary analysis of residues. Only six artefacts had retouch. Specific activities identified include the processing of plant (wood, starchy, resinous and siliceous materials) and animal tissue (flesh, skin and bone). Discrete activity areas were not identified. However, the minimal evidence for stone working and the small number of identified tasks indicated by the usewear and residue analysis suggest an expedient use of the small shelter for domestic tasks, including plant food processing. The study demonstrates that an integrated approach, which examines both residues and usewear, has very high potential for determining the functions of not only fine-grained stones, like chert, but also quartz and the coarsegrained quartzites and silcretes, commonly found in many Australian archaeological sites.

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