Exploratory excavation at Toulkerrie Midden (LB:B175), Moreton Island, S.E. Queensland
A systematic archaeological investigation of Moreton Island commenced in 1978 as the offshore component of the First stage of The Moreton Region Archaeological Project (MRAP) (see Hall 1980a). Although two previous archaeological surveys had been undertaken on the island (Ponosov 1964, Morwood n.d.), neither had attempted to cover it in a systematic and comprehensive manner. Both had essentially recorded sites close to the shores. Consequently, in order to achieve initial aims of MRAP concerning the variability of the archaeological record across the whole of the island's landscape, it was necessary to carry out a systematic survey. This was accomplished by Richard Robins as part of his M.A. degree research (Robins 1983 and 1984a this volume). However, during the initial reconnaissance which preceded this survey, a small number of sites were noted as having potential for answering basic questions outlined MRAP's research design. The first of these concerned chronology; just how long have people been exploiting the offshore islands of Moreton Bay? It was also important to know the relative contemporaneity of various types of sites on the island. Hence, sites which exhibited stratigraphic integrity were sought. A second question at that time concerned the nature of the subsistence aspect of the prehistoric economy. Hence it was important to choose sites in differing localities and which exhibited different faunal and artefactual components. Consequently, exploratory excavations were undertaken at roughly the same time as the survey.
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