People-plant interaction and economic botany over 47,000 years of occupation at Carpenter’s Gap 1, south central Kimberley

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Abstract

Systematic archaeobotanical analysis, conducted in conjunction with archaeological enquiry at Australian archaeological sites, is still rare despite recent developments. It is still rarer that previously analysed macrobotanical assemblages are revisited over time. Extending on macrobotanical research conducted by McConnell in 1997, this paper presents the results of a recent analysis of Carpenter’s Gap 1 non-woody macrobotanical remains (seeds, fruits, nuts, and other floristic elements) from the deepest square with the longest chronology, Square A2. Over 47,000 years of time is represented in the sequence, and excellent chronological control, coupled with preservation of carbonised and desiccated macrobotanical remains in the earliest cultural units, allows an examination of plant exploitation over time and human responses/adaptations to periods of documented climatic instability. Carpenter’s Gap 1 macrobotanical remains show that diet, subsistence, and site occupation were intimately associated with botanical resources derived from ecologically productive monsoon rainforest environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-47
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Archaeology
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019

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