Multi-activity, Holocene Period Campsite Identified at Wongawallan

Following a preliminary investigation in October 2020, Jabree conducted subsurface cultural heritage assessments for the Howard Creek Causeway Upgrade project on Tamborine-Oxenford Road in Wongawallan. Jabree was engaged to complete this project by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR).

The two-stage subsurface assessment was conducted in February and March 2021 and resulted in the retrieval of an exceptional number of Aboriginal cultural heritage artefacts. A total of 11,995 artefacts were retrieved and these were a mixture of stone flakes, cores and tools. This represents the highest artefact number and density within a Jabree archaeological site to date. Within the collected materials, a broad variety of artefacts were yielded. These included, but were not limited to, a grindstone, anvils, hammerstones, a drill/piercer, backed microliths, scrapers, Bondi points and a spearhead. This positive assessment result was despite some areas exhibiting signs of previous disturbance. Other assessment areas had not been disturbed, including the areas with the highest density of artefacts, and these are considered to reflect the original site. A total of 2,363 artefacts were recorded as in situ finds.

Image: A selection of artefacts excavated during the Howard Creek Causeway Upgrade project.

The project area has been identified as a single Howard Creek site, classified as a long-term Middle-Late Holocene period Aboriginal campsite. A range of activities have been determined to have taken place at this campsite, including stone tool manufacture, plant processing, hunting, butchering and bone processing. The site has high Aboriginal cultural heritage significance and high scientific significance and is unique, owing to its artefact quantity and diversity. It contributes important information to the cultural aspects of both the local area and the broader region. A cultural heritage protocol and agreement have been put in place to manage this site in line with its significance.

Featured image: General view of Area 3 of the project, facing south-east.

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