Recent re-excavations at Madjedbebe, western Arnhem Land, not only confirmed the antiquity and significance of this northern Australian rockshelter, but also included the application of a diverse array of scientific techniques to explore the nature of occupation at the site. As part of this research program, thorough and systematic archaeobotanical recovery was implemented, all features and two one-metre-squared trenches undergoing flotation. The assemblage recovered is unique within Australasian archaeology, spanning the entirety of the 65,000-year sequence of occupation at the rockshelter. This presentation discusses the results of the analysis of the plant macrofossil assemblage from all phases of occupation at the site. The remains of underground storage organs (USOs), fruits, nuts, seeds and other plant foods recovered allow for questions of diachronic change in diet breadth, landscape use and plant processing to be explored at this key site for Australian archaeology and the dispersal of Homo sapiens globally.

About the presenter

S. Anna Florin is a PhD student in Archaeology at the School of Social Sciences, UQ. Her research is focused on tropical archaeobotany, early modern human dispersals and Australian archaeology.

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.


Sir Llew Edwards Building (14), UQ, St Lucia

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