Australia’s Iron Age: Aboriginal post-contact metal artefacts from Old Lamboo station, southeast Kimberley, WA

Harrison, Rodney (2002). Australia’s Iron Age: Aboriginal post-contact metal artefacts from Old Lamboo station, southeast Kimberley, WA. Australasian Historical Archaeology, 20 pp. 67–76.

URL: http://www.asha.org.au/journal/

Abstract

While Aboriginally flaked bottle glass artefacts have been widely described in the Australian archaeological literature as the type fossil of Aboriginal post-contact sites, the introduction of metal as a raw material had a far wider and longer-term impact on the development of post-contact indigenous technologies. However, Aboriginally produced metal artefacts have been poorly described in the archaeological literature. This paper describes an assemblage of post-contact manufactured metal artefacts collected as part of archaeological investigations of the Aboriginal pastoral worker’s encampments at Old Lamboo Station, a cattle station located in the southeast Kimberley region of Western Australia. The paper concludes with observations regarding the potential for a study of regional variation in post-contact artefact forms and the need for a more mature approach that acknowledges the complexities in meaning which have been attributed to unmodified ‘western’ objects by indigenous people in colonial contexts.

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