Aboriginal site selection at one outlier on Lawn Hill Station, N.W. Queensland


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




Humans organise the space around them according to consistent, and often tacit, rules. Not only do people regulate their "personal space", but it also appears that there is spatial patterning within and between structures in settlements (eg. Clemens 1979; Fletcher 1977; Hall 1959, 1966; Negerevich 1977). The form and size of structures is also strongly patterned, perhaps according to changing physical and social environmental conditions (eg. Rapoport 1969; and various papers in Rapoport 1976). Most studies of spatial behaviour have been concerned with settlement layout in ethnographic and historical contexts. However, if people organise artificial structures in accordance with these "spatial rules" today and in the recent past, it is suspected that they might also be selective in their use of natural shelter such as caves and overhangs. Furthermore, it should be possible to establish, using archaeological data. whether or not these patterns of spatial use operated in prehistoric societies. With this possibility in mind I examined an outlier containing overhangs on the Carpentarian plain of Northwest Queensland. This paper presents preliminary results of that investigation.