Quartz, the multifaceted stone: a regional prehistory of the Helena River Valley on the Swan Coastal Plain of southwestern Australia

Madge Louise Schwede

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    Abstract

    [Truncated] Quartz technology is the bane of many an archaeologist
    and is often neglected as a primary source of information
    in prehistoric investigations. Quartz was the main stone
    used in tool manufacture in many parts of the world,
    including Australia and particularly southwestern
    Australia. This thesis uses quartz technology,
    specifically the flake debitage component, to investigate
    problems of interpreting assemblages in the absence of
    stratigraphic controls or other chronological markers,
    and to determine technological change over 40,000 years
    in the Helena River Valley, on the Swan Coastal Plain of
    southwestern Australia.
    Assemblages from twelve excavations on the Swan
    Coastal Plain were used in the debitage analysis; four of
    these assemblages were undated. First a classificatio
    system was developed to categorize the assemblages. In
    addition, a binocular microscope was used for the
    categorization of individual pieces and for the
    identification of edge damage. Measurements were taken
    of flake and platform size and flake shape and then
    statistically described. A broad chronological framework
    was proposed, based on the dated assemblages, to enable
    comparison of debitage within and between sites and areas
    on the Swan Coastal Plain.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Western Australia
    DOIs
    Publication statusUnpublished - 1990

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