View of the beautiful North Stradbroke Island beach from Point Lookout Headland © Everick Foundation Ltd

View of the beautiful North Stradbroke Island beach from Point Lookout Headland © Everick Foundation Ltd

NORTH STRADBROKE ISLAND, QUEENSLAND

Coastal erosion and the rush to protect cultural heritage: Excavation and artefact analysis of a midden at Point Lookout Headland, North Stradbroke Island

Excavation underway by Everick Foundation professionals at Point Lookout Midden site, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland. © Everick Foundation Ltd.

Excavation underway by Everick Foundation professionals at Point Lookout Midden site, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland. © Everick Foundation Ltd.

PROJECT

Using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology, C14 dating, excavation, wet sieving, and technical artefact analyses of Point Lookout Headland Midden, North Stradbroke Island (SFN LB00000231) for the Quandamooka People.

ISSUE

Everick was commissioned by the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (‘QYAC’) to undertake Archaeological Test Excavations of a known midden site complex threatened with a risk of erosion and potential loss of cultural heritage. Excavation aimed to assist interpretation of the scientific and cultural significance of the area, including occupation periods, responses to environmental change, local economies and technology, subsistence, and social behaviours.

Wet sieving of recovered artefacts recovered from excavations at Point Lookout Headland, North Stradbroke Island. © Everick Foundation Ltd.

Wet sieving of recovered artefacts recovered from excavations at Point Lookout Headland, North Stradbroke Island. © Everick Foundation Ltd.

SOLUTION

In July 2017, following GPR survey, excavation and wet sieving of two test pits revealed one well stratified deposit containing significant cultural material. This included 12 otoliths, 8 shell taxa, 25 potential shell tools and 217.26 g fish bone. Calibrated C14 dates ranged from 237-518 BP. Macro and microscopic shell analyses suggest year-round fishing subsistence practice and occupation.

OUTCOME

Results indicate continuous occupation centred around a fishing-oriented subsistence. This is consistent with Quandamooka People’s ethnographic stories, suggesting a continuity of traditional local practices. Current research at the University of Queensland is investigating fire regimes and fishing practices connected with this site.

OUR PARTNERS

Univeristy of Queensland

Univeristy of Queensland

Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation

Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation

University of Sydney

University of Sydney