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Cobaki Lakes, NSW 

Development and the threat to Australia’s coastal record: Identification and preservation of Pleistocene archaeological sites along the Cobaki Dune System, New South Wales.

Geomorphological testing in progress at Cobaki Lakes, NSW.

Geomorphological testing in progress at Cobaki Lakes, NSW.

PROJECT

Identification, dating, analysis, and protection of potentially highly significant Pleistocene sites within the Cobaki Dune system, NSW and broader Tweed catchment. A collaborative Griffith Science Arc Project between Everick Foundation, Dr Justine Kemp and Professor Jon Olley (Griffith University), and Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council.

ISSUE

Prior modelling indicates the Tweed catchment, and the Cobaki Dune system in particular, potentially contains highly significant Pleistocene sites that could redefine the period of known occupation of the eastern coast of Australia. These coastal areas are simultaneously a hotspot for commercial development projects and a large proportion of Australian occupation sites. As development occurs these sites, and our understanding of ancient lifeways, face irrevocable damage. Thus, it is essential that timely action is taken to identify, record and preserve these sites before they are destroyed.

Surface finds identified during survey work at Cobaki Lakes, NSW.

Surface finds identified during survey work at Cobaki Lakes, NSW.

SOLUTION

Thermoluminescence (TL) and optically-stimulated luminescence dating (OSL) at Cobaki has yielded dates between 30,000 and 120,000 years. Additional excavation, analysis and dating is crucial to inform archaeological modelling of coastal sites in this region and help identify new sites currently unprotected and unresearched.

OUTCOME

A detailed archaeological profile of Pleistocene sites around Cobaki Dune system and the Tweed catchment, facilitating a more accurate and robust model of coastal occupation sites and increasing opportunities for future research and protection of Pleistocene Australian occupation sites.

OUR PARTNERS

Griffith University

Griffith University

Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council

Tweed Byron Local Aboriginal Land Council

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