Discarding the evidence: the place of natural resources stewardship in the creation of the Peel Island Lazaret Midden, Moreton Bay, southeast Queensland

Ross, Anne, Coghill, Shane and Coghill, Brain (2015) Discarding the evidence: the place of natural resources stewardship in the creation of the Peel Island Lazaret Midden, Moreton Bay, southeast Queensland. Quaternary International, 385 177-190. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2015.05.003


Author Ross, Anne
Coghill, Shane
Coghill, Brain
Title Discarding the evidence: the place of natural resources stewardship in the creation of the Peel Island Lazaret Midden, Moreton Bay, southeast Queensland
Journal name Quaternary International   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1040-6182
1873-4553
Publication date 2015-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.05.003
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 385
Start page 177
End page 190
Total pages 14
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract Middens are created from the discard of natural resources, collected by people for consumptive purposes: mainly subsistence, but also for artefact manufacture (e.g. stone, bone and shell artefacts); warmth and/or shelter (e.g. firewood [charcoal] and timber windbreaks); or for ceremony. Taphonomic processes act on the discarded cultural materials to modify the evidence originally deposited by the creators of the archaeological site as a result of consumptive behaviour. There is nothing particularly new or unusual in this description of the accumulation of midden material. Interpretations of midden deposits in the literature are based around the interaction between consumptive behaviour and taphonomy. However, all archaeological sites also reflect a process other than consumption and taphonomy: discard. In this paper, we argue that a focus on consumption and taphonomy that ignores discard activity may overlook an important aspect of site creation. Using the Peel Island Lazaret Midden as a case study, we demonstrate that an understanding of past discard patterns may generate new understandings of human behaviour as represented in midden deposits. In particular, we argue that the formation of the Peel Island Lazaret Midden is due as much to the creation and stewardship of oyster beds, and to the consequent cultural materials that did not find their way into the midden, as artificial to the collection of shellfish for food consumption.
Keyword Consumption
Discard
Resource stewardship
Shell middens
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article in press corrected proof.

 
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