Kaurna Stone Artefacts, A Method of Analysis

Introduced by Mr Shane Wanganeen (Kaurna Yerta).

The Kaurna are the First Nations Traditional Owners and Native Title holders across Adelaide, South Australia. This new book provides a simple guide to identifying and analysing our stone artefacts. However the book is more than a guide to Kaurna cultural material, it can be used by all students of First Nations heritage, to learn about stone artefacts, why they are important, and what they can teach you.

‘Kaurna Stone Artefacts, a Method of Analysis’ had its genesis in collaborative work with the Department of Defence (Defence). Over the past two decades Kaurna people have worked collaboratively with Defence in Adelaide. A few years ago we undertook an archaeological excavation for Defence inside the Edinburgh Defence Precinct. This work resulted in the recovery of many stone artefacts, which are now featured and described in this book.

The book has been written by Kaurna Elder Jeffrey Newchurch, lithics expert Dr Beth White, and archaeologist Dr Tim Owen, and features artwork drawn by Kaurna Yerta artist, Corey Turner. The book was printed by Defence as an initiative under their Reconciliation Action Plan.

Printed copies of the book can be purchased from the Kaurna.

Mr Shane Wanganeen

What is included in the book?

The artefacts described in the book are made from the stone materials quartz, quartzite and silcrete. Most artefacts have been worked following a specific technique—the bi-polar flaking method. This type of artefact is often difficult to identify, and the book provides a simple and usable guide for confirming the characteristics of such artefacts, accompanied by photographs and illustrations. It also includes a methodology for recording, contrasting and comparing artefacts. These methods are applicable across all places, not just limited to Kaurna. ‘Kaurna Stone Artefacts, a Method of Analysis’ is aimed at students and professionals of all abilities.

Why are stone artefacts important?

Stone artefacts are important because they can provide some insight into Kaurna traditions, our economy and society. Understanding larger assemblages of stone artefacts allows us to build a picture of how Kaurna places were used over a long time period. Today, the stone artefacts continue to connect Kaurna people with Country. Stone artefacts are just one aspect of the Kaurna World view, where Dreaming, Country, language, place, sites and stories are all part of a dynamic lived continuum.

Where to download the book

You can download a copy of ‘Kaurna Stone Artefacts, a Method of Analysis’ for free from the ResearchGate.