Technological change at Bushrangers cave (LA:A11), southeast Queensland


  • Peter Hiscock Department of Anthropology & Sociology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072
  • J. Hall Department of Anthropology & Sociology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072



Bushrangers Cave is the oldest mainland archaeological site so far discovered in the Moreton Region of southeast Queensland. Occupation began approximately 6000 years ago, at a time when the rising seas flooded Moreton Bay and reached their present levels. Several researchers have suggested that after the infilling of the Bay food resources were more plentiful, and that during the last 6000 years there was population growth and a restructuring of Aboriginal society (Hall 1982, 1986; Morwood 1986). At least some of these changes should be visible at Bushrangers Cave and Hall (1986:101) has argued that economic and social reorganization may be reflected in the procurement of stone material by the knappers who left stone artefacts in the cave. Indications that stone from the vicinity of the cave may have been transported some distance during the late Holocene raise similar possibilities (Bird et al 1987). Exploratory excavations and preliminary analysis of the recovered artefacts was reported by Hall (1986), who demonstrated that changes in artefact frequency and raw material type did occur. Further radiocarbon dates and more detailed investigations of the artefactual assemblage are presented in this paper. While a more complete understanding of the site will require the excavation of a larger area, the data described below enable some preliminary conclusions to be drawn about chronological change in stone procurement, stoneworking technology and the nature and intensity of occupation.