Badu 15 and the Papuan-Austronesian settlement of Torres Strait

B. David, I. Mcniven, R. Mitchell, M. Orr, S. Haberle, Liam Brady, J. Crouch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)


Archaeological excavations on the island of Badu have for the first time revealed evidence of people in Torres Strait before 2500 years BP. We interpret this evidence as representing three phases of island use and occupation. Phase 1 (8000-6000 years BP), when the high islands of Torres Strait were part of terminal Greater Australia, saw permanent occupation of the region. During Phase 2 (6000-c. 3500/3000 years BP), the Western Islands of Torres Strait were occasionally visited from Cape York. And in Phase 3 (c .3500/3000 years BP to present) the islands became occupied mainly by speakers of languages with strong Papuan and Austronesian elements from the north and northeast. We argue for Austronesian influences at the tip of Australia during the late Holocene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-78
JournalArchaeology in Oceania
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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