The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria is a group that promotes the study of archaeology, anthropology, ethno-archaeology and ethno-history in both Australia and further abroad. Lectures, from a range of talented presenters, are held every third Thursday of the month at 6:30pm at the The Kathleen Syme Library & Community Centre – 251 Faraday St, Carlton.
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Next Lecture: Thursday 19th of March
Perceptions of the past: Archaeological research at Discovery Bay
Presented by Dr Michael Godfrey
Archaeological research has been carried out at Discovery Bay over at least three decades. Hundreds of shell middens and artefact scatters have been recorded and some of the middens have been excavated and dated. The
purpose of this talk is to describe these remains and their environmental context and discuss their significance for understanding the prehistory of southwestern Victoria.
Michael Godfrey completed a Combined Honours degree in Prehistory and Archaeology and Ancient History and Classical Archaeology at the University of Sheffield in England, before undertaking his Masters, and a Ph.D. in the Department of Chemistry at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Most of his research has been based at Discovery Bay.
Publications with relevance to this talk are:
Godfrey, M.C.S., 1983. Historical sources as aids to archaeological interpretation – examples from Discovery Bay, Victoria. The Artefact 8 (1-2): 55-60.
Godfrey, M.C.S., 1989. Shell midden chronology in southwestern Victoria : reflections of change in prehistoric population and subsistence? Archaeology in Oceania 24: 65-69.
Godfrey, M.C.S., et al. 1996. From time to time: Radiocarbon information on Victorian archaeological sites held by Aboriginal Affairs Victoria. The Artefact 19: 3-51.
Upcoming Lecture: Thursday 16th of April
Usewear and residues on bone-breaking stones at the 130 ka Cerutti Mastodon site, southern California, USA
Presented by Prof Richard Fullagar
This lecture challenges traditional beliefs about the peopling of the Americas and the migrations of our hominin ancestors. Be prepared for the possibility that, more than 100,000 years ago close to the site of present day San Diego, hominins were cracking open mastodon limb bones to extract the nutritious marrow. Impact marks and lithic use-wear consistent with breaking fresh/green bones were reported in 2017, for stones recovered in 1992–3 from the late Pleistocene Cerruti Mastodon (CM) site in coastal San Diego County, California. The totality of taphonomic evidence supports human agency at the CM site, suggesting occupation by c. 130 ka, although the absence of other evidence for humans in the Americas or Beringia at this time continues to make the site controversial. New analysis of bone residues on the stones, in combination with usewear traces, supports the interpretation that the bones and cobbles are in situ and not disturbed as others have argued. Despite ongoing debate, I argue that the most likely scenario for the transferral of bone residues onto the cobbles is hominin use, specifically to process mastodon limb bones for marrow extraction and/or raw material for tool production.
Richard Fullagar BA(Melb) PhD(La Trobe) has held Australian Research Council grants and fellowships at the Australian Museum and University of Sydney. He is currently Honorary Professorial Research Fellow in the
Centre for Archaeological Science, University of Wollongong. He has worked on many sites in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Southeast Asia and Eastern Asia, and is particularly interested in how stone tools were used and what they can tell us about the history of human dispersal, behaviour and subsistence.
Post Office Boxes
We advise all members that AASV now has two mailing addresses. Membership address: PO Box 200, Benalla VIC 3672.
General Correspondence and Artefact subscription enquiries: PO Box 203, Carlton VIC 3053.