A Record in Bone: Exploring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Bone and Tooth Artefacts by Michelle C. Langley

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Bone and tooth tools and ornaments have been made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for at least 46,000 years, using some of the oldest technologies in the world. Despite their beauty, sophistication and ubiquity, archaeologists and other researchers have overwhelmingly focused on the stone artefacts of Australia. Consequently, until now, we have known little of how bone and tooth objects were made and used, or how individual communities differed in how they worked with the material. A Record in Bone brings together into one volume the scattered and sometimes difficult-to-find research and findings of more than a century. It reveals Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ innovative bone, tooth, quill and claw industries, including the extensive use of ornamentation, the bone points and hooks which have been central to fishing in Australia for about 5000 years, and much more.

This volume is a perfect companion to A Record in Stone: The study of Australia’s flaked stone artefacts (ASP 2007). It will be an invaluable reference text for professionals in, and students of, archaeology, anthropology, Indigenous studies and museum studies. It is also an easy-to-read introduction for anyone interested in Australia’s past, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and technology.

Publisher: Aborignial Studies Press
Publication date: 1 Oct 2023
Format: Paperback, 272pp
Category: History / Archaeology