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Kimberley points and colonial preference: New insights into the chronology of pressure flaked point forms from the southeast Kimberley, Western Australia

Harrison, R; (2004) Kimberley points and colonial preference: New insights into the chronology of pressure flaked point forms from the southeast Kimberley, Western Australia. Archaeology in Oceania , 39 (1) pp. 1-11. 10.1002/j.1834-4453.2004.tb00552.x.

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Abstract

Based on recent archaeological research in the southeast Kimberley this paper argues that while bifacially pressure flaked points are clearly present in the archaeological record from c.1400-1000calBP, Kimberley point manufacture reached its zenith only after AD 1885, when there was both an intensification in the numbers of points produced, and increasing formalisation of point design. Changes in the numbers and formalisation of the shape of points produced after AD1885 are linked both to post-contact social changes and the dialectic role played by non-Aboriginal collectors in selecting for particular point forms. It is suggested that 'Kimberley points' as defined by Akerman and Bindon (1995) should be seen as an extreme formal variation on the range of pressure flaked point shapes that were manufactured over the last millennia in the Kimberley, developed to meet the particular preferences of colonial collectors. This study of formal changes in artefacts as a result of colonial contact in Australia is set within a framework of other research in colonial New Britain and the Admiralty Islands on the influence of collectors on the formal qualities of Indigenous objects.

Type: Article
Title: Kimberley points and colonial preference: New insights into the chronology of pressure flaked point forms from the southeast Kimberley, Western Australia
DOI: 10.1002/j.1834-4453.2004.tb00552.x
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1358057
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