Stable isotopic analyses of herbivorous mammal remains are a powerful and globally applied tool for reconstructing past environments and ecological histories from archaeological sites.  As an important economic species and an omnipresent feature in Australian modern and archaeological contexts, macropods (specifically kangaroos and wallabies) are a particularly high potential candidate for isotopic investigation; however, such analyses are not commonly undertaken.  In this presentation, isotopic data from the analysis of macropod bone and tooth enamel from sites in Australia's northwest (including Pleistocene specimens  recovered from Boodie Cave on Barrow Island)  will be presented.  Based on this data, the relevance and feasibility of routinely conducting isotopic studies on macropod remains will be reviewed to determine the capacity of such analyses to add substantial value to Australian archaeological research.


Jane Skippington

PhD Candidate, Barrow Island Archaeological Project, University of Western Australia

Principal Curator Indigenous Cultures, Queensland Museum Network 


About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.