Law, W.B., Cropper, D.N. & Petchey, F. (2010) Djadjiling Rockshelter: 35,000 ¹⁴C Years of Aboriginal Occupation in the Pilbara, Western Australia. Australian Archaeology, 70, 68-71.
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The Pleistocene settlement of the arid zone is a prominent research theme in Australian archaeology (Hiscock 2008:45- 62; Hiscock and Wallis 2004; Marwick 2002a, 2002b; O’Connor et al. 1998; Smith 1987, 2005; Thorley 1998; Veth 1993, 1995, 2005). Of particular interest is the inland Pilbara region of the western arid zone, which until recently was reported to have been first occupied between c.20,000 BP and c.26,000 BP (Brown 1987:27; Edwards and Murphy 2003:45; Maynard 1980:7). The recent test excavations at Juukan-1 rockshelter suggest the region was occupied before 32,920±270 BP (Slack et al. 2009:34). Our research at Djadjiling rockshelter supports this result by demonstrating an Aboriginal presence at the site c.35,000 years ago. Not only is the site unique for its antiquity, but excavations have recovered a large flaked stone assemblage from the earliest occupational phase. The evidence demonstrates repeated early site use, and a sequence of intermittent occupation throughout the late Pleistocene and Holocene. The preliminary findings are presented below.
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This article has been published in the journal: Australian Archaeology. © 2010 Australian Archaeology.