Tool-stone resource management in the Weld Range, Midwest region, Western Australia

Viviene Brown

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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[Truncated] The Weld Range, situated in the eastern Midwest region of Western Australia, has an abundance and variety of tool-stone. This study investigates the value Wajarri people living in this area at times in the past attached to tool-stone resources. Were the numerous quarried outcrops of the Weld Range one important resource or many sources of differing value? And, what motivated tool-stone resource management?

Heritage consultancy surveys undertaken by Wajarri Traditional Owners and UWA archaeologists since 2007 have inspected 118 sq. km in and around the Weld Range, recorded 30,364 flaked stone artefacts and identified 190 quarried tool-stone outcrops (the Weld Range data set). These data, supplemented by an experimental knapping program, were used to determine whether different tool-stone resource management strategies were in use. The use of different strategies is argued here to reflect the relative value of Weld Range lithic raw material types.

A review of archaeological and ethnographic literature identified four potential strategies for managing tool-stone supply. Expedient use takes advantage of abundant tool-stone supply to produce sharp edged implements with little need for conservation of material. In contrast, waste minimisation and tool conservation seek to preserve the supply of tool-stone through the movement and maintenance of cores and flakes respectively. Trade production employs standardised production techniques to create recognisable products.
Original languageEnglish
  • Winton, Vicky, Supervisor
  • Balme, Jane, Supervisor
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015


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