University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Pitt-Rivers Archaeological Science Seminar Series > 65,000 years of human-environment interaction: An archaeobotanical investigation of human occupation at Madjedbebe, northern Australia

65,000 years of human-environment interaction: An archaeobotanical investigation of human occupation at Madjedbebe, northern Australia

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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 the dispersion of Homo sapiens globally.

This talk is part of the Pitt-Rivers Archaeological Science Seminar Series series.

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