Aboriginal stone huts along the Georgina River, southwest Queensland

Lynley A Wallis, Iain Davidson, Heather Burke, Scott Mitchell, Bryce Barker, Elizabeth Hatte, Noelene Cole, Kelsey M Lowe

Abstract


This paper reports on the recording of previously unpublished Aboriginal stone hut structures in southwestern Queensland. Located along the Georgina River, these 15 structures are typical of the region, being generally circular in plan view, with an average diameter of 5m and a 1m-wide opening consistently positioned to afford protection from prevailing winds. Evidence suggests these structures were roofed with vegetation and, while they pre-date the contact period, appear also to have been used into at least the late 1800s. Artefacts associated with them include stone flakes, cores and edge-ground axe fragments, freshwater mussel shells, rifle cartridge cases, fragments of glass, and metal objects. A comparison of these stone hut structures is made with similar features from elsewhere in Australia, demonstrating that there was a widespread but consistent use of stone for construction. This short report contributes to an increasing awareness of, and literature about, built structures in traditional Aboriginal societies.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25120/qar.20.2017.3584



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ISSN 1839-339X (online) ISSN 0814-3021 (print)