This paper reports on the first season of work on the Barrow Island Archaeology Project. It contextualises new findings within a review of what is now known of the archaeology of the Carnarvon bioregion. A reliance on coastal resources for over 42,000 years is indicated from excavations and open sites from Cape Range, the Montebello Islands, the Onslow coastline and Barrow Island. The continuous use of marine resources, blended with largely arid zone terrestrial assemblages, from 17,000 cal. BP until the modern era, attests to a deep chronology for hybrid maritime desert societies in the Australian northwest.