Just passing through: Archaeological investigations of a late Holocene open site in the Mitchell Grass Downs, inland northwest Queensland
Comparatively little is known about the archaeology of the Mitchell Grass Downs region of inland Queensland. This paper reports the results of investigations of an open site complex therein, comprising numerous hearths, a human burial, middens, stone arrangements and a stone artefact assemblage. Analysis reveals the stone artefact assemblage is a palimpsest, representing multiple events in the late Holocene compressed into a single non-stratified archaeological surface assemblage. The evidence suggests use of the area was by highly mobile, transient populations passing through on an occasional seasonal basis when environmental conditions were amenable to travel; suggestions for a semi-sedentary population are not supported. Clear evidence for the extensive removal, weathering, reuse and recycling of artefacts has implications for our ability to reconstruct past human behaviours and landscape use in this region.
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