A Glacial Cryptic Refuge in Southeast Australia: Human Occupation and Mobility from 36,000 Years Ago in the Sydney Basin, New South Wales

23rd November 2014

Lau, MichelleExcavations of a source-bordering dune near the Hawkesbury River (Sydney Basin, Australia) reveal early regional populations forming by 36,000 BP at the onset of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM ). Results suggest that colonisers followed the main coastal fringe, and utilised associated rivers for access inland. Occupation was maintained and intensified during the height of the LGM – the site forming one of several known refugia during this intensely cool and arid period. We re-explore the nature of the refugium using recent ecological concepts and mobility indices. Human activity persisted through a climatically variable terminal Pleistocene until the early Holocene, when river aggradation through sealevel rise inundated several critical resources, leading to reorganisation of social and spacial patterns.

Citation for this poster:

Lau, M., A. Williams and F. Atkinson 2014 A Glacial Cryptic Refuge in Southeast Australia: Human Occupation and Mobility from 36,000 Years Ago in the Sydney Basin, New South Wales. Poster Presented at the AAA/ASHA Annual Conference, 1-3 December, Cairns.

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