ARC2AIA Essay: The Reason we Have Little Evidence of Symbolic Behaviour Dating to the Last Ice Age is due to Strong Taphonomic Influences?by Caroline Seawright
Year 2 Essay for Australian Indigenous Archaeology at LaTrobe University, May 2012.
Of about 200 Pleistocene sites of the former landmass of Sahul, discovered by archaeologists within a variety of landforms and environmental zones, only 40% of the artefacts are symbolic in nature. The understanding of symbolic behaviour comes from seemingly sparse evidence, typically in the form of organic artefacts. The role of taphonomic influences on the aforementioned artefacts need to be assessed when studying human behaviours of the Pleistocene, as should other factors which result in the small amount of evidence from the archaeological record, such as archaeological sampling. Results indicate that taphonomy plays a major role in the scarcity of symbolic artefacts, as does the sampling techniques used by archaeologists both within Greater Australia and across the world.
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© Caroline 'Kunoichi' Seawright 2012 - present
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