Report on excavation of a shell mound site at Mandjungaar, western Cape York Peninsula

Michael Morrison, Chantal Wight, Emily Evans

Abstract


This short report presents results of excavation and analysis of a shell mound deposit at Mandjungaar, near Weipa, Cape York Peninsula. This study was initiated as a cultural heritage management project focused on a shell mound site damaged by unauthorised clearing of access tracks. This study included a small research component to establish a baseline understanding of longer-term use history of the Mandjungaar area at the request of Ndrua’angayth custodians. This included excavation and analysis of a test pit at the site. Results of the study are presented and contextualised in relation to previous research on the Weipa Peninsula in order to expand our understanding of the wider cultural history of the southern Weipa Peninsula. These results provide further support for the assertion that shell mound formation in the Albatross Bay region involved food production activities that were strategically focused on estuarine mud and sandflat ecosystems. In doing so, this dataset provides additional support for the previously proposed niche production model of shell mound formation.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25120/qar.21.2018.3637



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