Settlement and subsistence activities along Tin Can Bay, southeast Queensland


  • Ian McNiven Archaeology, La Trobe University



Tin Can Bay flanks the northwestern boundary of the Cooloola region, coastal southeast Queensland. It is a rich estuarine environment emptying into the southern end of the Great Sandy Strait which separates Fraser Island from the mainland. In 1983, I undertook a survey along the eastern periphery of the bay as part of Stage 1 of the Cooloola Region Archaeological Project (McNiven 1984, 1985). The survey aimed to provide insights into the form, frequency and spatial arrangement of archaeological materials, and to integrate these results with an environmental framework. As part of Stage 2 research in the region, I re-analysed Stage 1 survey data and excavated two midden sites (McNiven 1990a). The work aimed at providing more detailed information about site location and content and a chronological perspective to the project. This paper presents preliminary results of this research, focusing upon the nature and development of associated estuarine settlement-subsistence activities. The broader spatial implications of this work have been integrated within a more encompassing regional model of settlement-subsistence behaviour (see McNiven 1990a, in press a).