|1/3. Excavations at the John Wayne Rockshelter, Barrow Island, July 2014.|
RECENT archaeological digs at Barrow Island and the Montebello Islands off the Pilbara coast have revealed a number of artefacts which have helped build a unique record of coastal habitation by early humans.
UWA archaeologist Peter Veth says edge-ground stone axes were made there earlier than had been thought, but that inhabitants were yet to fit points to spears.
He says his team did not discover mid-to-late Holocene (the last 6,000 years) artefacts commonly found through mainland Australia such as mature ochres and formal seed-grinding stones.
However, flakes of stone show edge-ground axes were made at the site 15,000 years ago.
Prof Veth says this find will challenge conventional notions of when the technology occurred, as archaeologists had previously thought it confined to the continent's far north until 4,000 years ago.
They uncovered ornaments including a Baler Shell fragment decorated with cross-hatched incisions and drilled holes, and tusk shell beads within a unit dated to about 30,000 years ago. [...] sciencewa.net.au Via archaeologynewsnetwork