DURING excavation in a South Australian peat quarry in January 1974, a wooden tool industry was found buried in basal peat formed between 10,200 ± 150 BP (ANU–1,292) and 8,990 ± 120 BP (ANU–1,293). Chert tools and chipping debris associated with swamp side encampment were also recovered from shoreline clays and underlying muds. Three implements associated with this industry are complete boomerangs (Fig. 1), suspected of being made from Casuarina stricta (Drooping Sheoak), a species growing above the swamp today. Although exact ages for the boomerangs are still to be determined, the finds provide the oldest evidence of the boomerang in the world and the collection as a whole is one of the most technologically complete in the Australian archaeological record. The collection of more than 25 wooden implements includes a simple short spear, at least two types of digging stick, and a barbed javelin fragment carved from a single piece of wood. Although several other implements were recovered complete, their functions are as yet unknown.
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Barbetti, M., and Allen, H. Nature, 240, 46–48 (1972).
Jones, R., Nature, 246, 278–81 (1973).
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LUEBBERS, R. Ancient boomerangs discovered in South Australia. Nature 253, 39 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1038/253039a0
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