Archaeological assessment of coastal and marine development sites: case study from James Price Point, Western Australia

Ingrid Ward, Piers Larcombe, Annie Carson, Andy Lane

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Abstract

This paper examines the prehistoric marine archaeological potential of relict shorelines off James Price Point, northern Western Australia. In addition to previously registered midden and intertidal fish-trap sites, archaeological excavation at James Price Point has provided evidence of coastal exploitation from at least 5 ky BP. In the adjacent marine environment are well-preserved drowned shoreline sediments, that form at least two series of north - south trending linear features with relief of up to 5 m of more above the surrounding seabed, at elevations of - 15 m and - 8 m respectively, which may date to ~ 9 ky BP and ~ 6 ky BP respectively. The submerged shorelines are associated with four main depositional environments, of which, ‘lagoon infill’ and ‘fossil intertidal flats’ have the highest preservation potential and highest archaeological potential. This palaeogeography has significant geoheritage value and systematic investigation of these features is likely to contribute to our understanding of early maritime adaptation and resource use in this region. © Royal Society of Western Australia 2016
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Western Australia
Volume99
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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shoreline
midden
infill
paleogeography
resource use
depositional environment
marine environment
lagoon
excavation
relief
fossil
fish
sediment
price
archaeological site

Cite this

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title = "Archaeological assessment of coastal and marine development sites: case study from James Price Point, Western Australia",
abstract = "This paper examines the prehistoric marine archaeological potential of relict shorelines off James Price Point, northern Western Australia. In addition to previously registered midden and intertidal fish-trap sites, archaeological excavation at James Price Point has provided evidence of coastal exploitation from at least 5 ky BP. In the adjacent marine environment are well-preserved drowned shoreline sediments, that form at least two series of north - south trending linear features with relief of up to 5 m of more above the surrounding seabed, at elevations of - 15 m and - 8 m respectively, which may date to ~ 9 ky BP and ~ 6 ky BP respectively. The submerged shorelines are associated with four main depositional environments, of which, ‘lagoon infill’ and ‘fossil intertidal flats’ have the highest preservation potential and highest archaeological potential. This palaeogeography has significant geoheritage value and systematic investigation of these features is likely to contribute to our understanding of early maritime adaptation and resource use in this region. {\circledC} Royal Society of Western Australia 2016",
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AB - This paper examines the prehistoric marine archaeological potential of relict shorelines off James Price Point, northern Western Australia. In addition to previously registered midden and intertidal fish-trap sites, archaeological excavation at James Price Point has provided evidence of coastal exploitation from at least 5 ky BP. In the adjacent marine environment are well-preserved drowned shoreline sediments, that form at least two series of north - south trending linear features with relief of up to 5 m of more above the surrounding seabed, at elevations of - 15 m and - 8 m respectively, which may date to ~ 9 ky BP and ~ 6 ky BP respectively. The submerged shorelines are associated with four main depositional environments, of which, ‘lagoon infill’ and ‘fossil intertidal flats’ have the highest preservation potential and highest archaeological potential. This palaeogeography has significant geoheritage value and systematic investigation of these features is likely to contribute to our understanding of early maritime adaptation and resource use in this region. © Royal Society of Western Australia 2016

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