Huts and stone arrangements at Hilary Creek, western Queensland: Recent fieldwork at an Australian Aboriginal site complex

Wallis, Lynley A. and Barker, Bryce ORCID: and Burke, Heather and Dardengo, Mia and Jansen, Robert and Melville, Dennis and Jacks, Geoffrey and Pagels, Anthony and Schaefer, Andrew and Davidson, Iain (2021) Huts and stone arrangements at Hilary Creek, western Queensland: Recent fieldwork at an Australian Aboriginal site complex. Queensland Archaeological Research, 24. pp. 1-47.


This paper reports on an Aboriginal site complex, incorporating hut structures, ceremonial stone arrangements, an extensive surface artefact assemblage of lithics and mussel shell, and a silcrete quarry, located along Hilary Creek, a tributary of the Georgina River in western Queensland, Australia. At least two phases of occupation are indicated. The most recent huts have their collapsed organic superstructure still present, while those of a presumably earlier phase are distinguished as bare, circular patches of earth which are conspicuous amongst the ubiquitous gibber, with or without stone bases, and lacking any collapsed superstructure. Immediately adjacent to the huts and also a few hundred metres away are clusters of small stone arrangements, and about 2 km to the southwest, along the same creekline, is another series of larger, more substantial stone arrangements; these features speak to the importance of the general Hilary Creek area for ceremonial purposes. Radiocarbon dating reveals use of the Hilary Creek complex dates to at least 300 years ago; the absence of any European materials suggests it was likely not used, or only used very sporadically, after the 1870s when pastoralists arrived in the area, and when traditional lifeways were devastated by colonial violence.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Mar 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Heritage and Culture (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2021 03:51
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2021 02:31
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aboriginal stone huts; Stone arrangements
Fields of Research (2008): 21 History and Archaeology > 2101 Archaeology > 210101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology
Fields of Research (2020): 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430199 Archaeology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280113 Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280114 Expanding knowledge in Indigenous studies
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.25120/qar.24.2021.3799

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