Occupation sites artefact scatters by nikeborome


									Occupation sites—artefact scatters
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander campsites or other
occupation sites can provide important information about       Threats and potential threats
a range of activities. These sites are also highly
significant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.   The greatest natural threat to occupation sites is erosion.
                                                               Human threats include developments such as roads,
The Department of Environment and Resource                     tracks and other works likely to disturb material.
Management (DERM) is responsible for administering the
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 and Torres Strait
Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003, which helps ensure        Protecting artefact scatter sites
that these sites are protected.
                                                               Should a place, thought to be an artefact scatter site be
                                                               found, contact the relevant Aboriginal or Torres Strait
What do occupation sites look like?                            Islander party for the area or DERM. To assist in
                                                               protecting the site, supply a map of where the site can be
Occupation sites can be found in the open or in rock           found as well as a description of what was found.
shelters and may be indicated by a scatter of stone
artefacts, however not all occupation sites contain such
material. The types of stone commonly used include             Management actions
quartz, quartzite, silcrete, and chert—all of which can be
flaked to produce tools.                                       If occupation sites are located on your property, it is
                                                               important to ensure:
Other material evidence from occupation sites includes
bones, shells, food refuse, blackened fire stones,             • the position of the occupation site/s and appropriate
charcoal and baked clay (the remains from cooking                protective measures be marked on operational plans.
stones).                                                         The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with
                                                                 custodianship responsibilities for the area should be
Some occupation sites have been visited numerous                 notified prior to the commencement of any operations
times, with each successive occupation producing layers          near the site
or strata of material evidence. These sites can be many
metres deep—surface evidence gives little indication of        • locations of previously unrecorded occupation sites be
their long history. Thousands of artefacts may be buried         forwarded to the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
beneath the surface.                                             people with custodianship responsibilities
Charcoal and bone from each layer can be radiocarbon-          • all field staff and contractors be trained in the
dated from which the chronological sequence of                   identification of occupation sites
occupation can be re-created.
                                                               • land-use activities that are likely to cause surface
                                                                 disturbance be assessed against the cultural heritage
Where are occupation sites found?                                duty-of-care guidelines.

Occupation sites exist in all parts of the landscape,          Further information
varying from sparse (and unstratified) campsites with
only one or two artefacts, to ones occupied over long          For further information on occupation sites, visit the
periods of time, with layers of deposits comprising            DERM website <www.derm.qld.gov.au> or contact:
thousands of artefacts.                                        Cultural Heritage Coordination Unit
Scatters of artefacts are generally found near stone           Department of Environment and Resource Management
outcrops, in areas favoured for occupation                     GPO Box 2454
(watercourses, resource-rich areas, higher ground), in         Brisbane QLD 4001
natural erosion zones (including in the nodes of multiple      Telephone: (07) 3239 3647
erosion zones) and in ‘transit’ zones between resource-        Fax:       (07) 3238 3842
rich areas.
                                                                                                                 April 2010
Sites favoured for occupation because of access to                                                                  CH 10
water, other resources or features, were often also
chosen by Europeans as settlement areas.

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