Sourcing stone from the Sydney region: A hatchet job

17th November 2013

A hafted hatchet (from Stockdale 1789) (published in Australian Archaeology 60:42).

A hafted hatchet (from Stockdale 1789) (published in Australian Archaeology 60:42).

Tessa Corkill

This paper provides an analysis of 326 edge-ground hatchet heads collected from the region surrounding Sydney, New South Wales. A study of attributes based on raw material and form reveals that the majority of blanks in all areas are likely to have originated in gravels of the present Nepean/Hawkesbury River and abandoned palaeochannels, which are mainly located about 50 km inland from Port Jackson. This finding supports sparse ethnographic and some archaeological accounts but contradicts a number of reports that have postulated sources for these hatchets considerably further afield. Results of the study also invalidate a commonly held belief about raw material type, which has influenced the identification of sources in the past. The findings have implications for studies of social factors such as trade and exchange, selection criteria, the accessibility of raw materials and time budgeting.

Corkill, T.
Sourcing stone from the Sydney region: A hatchet job
2005
60
41–50
Article
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