Carpenters Gap 1: A 47,000 year old record of Indigenous adaption and innovation.

Tim Maloney, Sue O'Connor, Wood Rachel, Aplin Ken, Jane Balme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Here we present the first detailed analysis of the archaeological finds from Carpenters Gap 1 rockshelter, one of the oldest radiocarbon dated sites in Australia and one of the few sites in the Sahul region to preserve both plant and animal remains down to the lowest Pleistocene aged deposits. Occupation at the site began between 51,000 and 45,000 cal BP and continued into the Last Glacial Maximum, and throughout the Holocene. While CG1 has featured in several studies, the full complement of 100 radiocarbon dates is presented here for the first time in stratigraphic context, and a Bayesian model is used to evaluate the age sequence. We present analyses of the stone artefact and faunal assemblages from Square A2, the oldest and deepest square excavated. These data depict a remarkable record of adaptation in technology, mobility, and diet breadth spanning 47,000 years. We discuss the dating and settlement record from CG1 and other northern Australian sites within the context of the new dates for occupation of Madjedbebe in Arnhem Land at 65,000 years (±5,700), and implications for colonisation and dispersal within Sahul.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-228
Number of pages25
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


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