Flaked Stone Tools

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Contents

History

Not all types of stone can be used for making tools. The best stone types are rich in silica, hard and brittle, such as quartzite, chert, flint, silcret and quartz. These types of stone were quarried from outcrops of bedrock, or collected as pebbled from stream beds or beaches. Many flaked stone artefacts found on Aboriginal sites are made from stone types that do not occur naturally in the area. This means they may have been carried for long distances. [1]

Innovations

Flaked stone tools were made by hitting a piece of stone (known as a core) with a 'hammerstone' (or 'pebble'). This would remove a sharp fragment of stone called a flake. [2]

New flakes were very sharp, but quickly became blunt and had to be sharpened again by further flaking known as 'retouch'. Retouch was also used to shap a tool.[3]

Use

Flaked stone tools could be made quickly and were used form many everyday tasks, including shaping objects made of wood, bark and bone. They were used as spear tips in hunting weapons and as knives to butcher game, They were also used to scrape and prepare animal skins for making Possum Skin Cloaks, containers and decorative items.[4]

Legacies

Because stone artefacts do not rot or rust they are often the only evidence of Aboriginal occupation in a particular area. Stone artefacts can provide information about where Aboriginal people lived, how they made other told, hunted and prepared food.[5]

Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register

Aboriginal objects and heritage places are irreplaceable, non-renewable resources and can include traditional and spiritual sites of significance. The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register (VAHR) was established by the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 is an important administrative tool and holds the details of all known Aboriginal cultural heritage places and objects within Victoria, including their location and a detailed description. Places or objects are recorded by cultural heritage advisors on forms which are approved under the Act. The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register is not a publicly accessible register because it contains culturally sensitive information. Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) play a key role in the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage. The Register holds information of each Registered Aboriginal party, their area of responsibility and contact details. [6]

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 requires that the discovery of Aboriginal cultural heritage places or objects on any public or private land in Victoria be reported to Aboriginal Affairs Victoria - see http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/indigenous/aboriginal-cultural-heritage/information-for-landowners/reporting-a-possible-aboriginal-place-or-object

If you are the custodian of a Victorian Aboriginal object or place you are encouraged to document it on the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register by contacting Aboriginal Affairs Victoria to arrange to complete the form located at http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/35607/Victroian_Aboriginal_Heritage_Register_Form_Sept_2008.pdf.

How to care for and register Aboriginal objects and heritage places is further explained via an 11 minute video available at http://cv.vic.gov.au/stories/the-aboriginal-object-collection-at-dunkeld-museum/


Recommended Reading

References

  1. Introduction to Aboriginal Cultural Places and Objects, Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, 2008.
  2. Introduction to Aboriginal Cultural Places and Objects, Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, 2008.
  3. Introduction to Aboriginal Cultural Places and Objects, Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, 2008.
  4. Introduction to Aboriginal Cultural Places and Objects, Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, 2008.
  5. Introduction to Aboriginal Cultural Places and Objects, Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, 2008.
  6. http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/indigenous/aboriginal-cultural-heritage/Victorian-aboriginal-heritage-register


Further Reading

Sibtain, Nancy (Ed) Aboriginal Australia, Australian Gallery Directors Council Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales.

External Links

http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/indigenous/aboriginal-cultural-heritage/aboriginal-heritage-act-2006

http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/indigenous/aboriginal-cultural-heritage/aboriginal-heritage-act-2006/guides-and-forms

http://www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/indigenous/aboriginal-heritage-council/registered-aboriginal-parties




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