Results of archaeological surveys of the Pianamu cultural landscape, central Cape York Peninsula, 2014-2016

David Tutchener, David Claudie, Michael Morrison


This paper presents preliminary results of archaeological investigation of the northern Cape York Peninsula highlands, the homelands of the Kuuku I’yu (northern Kaanju) people. Despite intensive and long-term research programs elsewhere in Cape York Peninsula, no previous archaeological work has been undertaken in this particular region. The aim of this research was to identify the location of archaeological places and artefacts throughout the Kaanju Ngaachi Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) and the broader Wenlock region. The preliminary research results outlined here include the recording of rock art, culturally modified trees, lithic material, pastoral sites and the remains of a Native Mounted Police camp. This study clearly indicates that the highlands of Cape York Peninsula have substantial research potential; however, further work is required to achieve a greater understanding of both physical and cultural landscapes.

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