Type:  Biface Thinning Flake

Location: Bletchington Park, Queensland



MoST ID: 2200

Pedestal Link: https://une.pedestal3d.com/r/C1RGLZSSkO

Model Author:  Emma Watt

This biface thinning flake of metamorphosed sedimentary stone if from the Bletchington Park stone axe quarry in North Queensland.  It likely dates to the Holocene.  The Bletchington Park quarry is in the traditional country of the Gudjala people.


The biface thinning flake in this model is from one of the largest Aboriginal quarries in the Charters Towers region, located on a large grazing property originally known as Bletchington Park. The fine-grained metasedimentary stone that outcrops there was reduced into small edge-ground axes that were an important part of regional trade-and-exchange systems. The Bletchington Park reduction process involved sophisticated biface thinning using hard hammer (and possibly soft-hammer) percussion techniques. The reduction was a form of ‘primary thinning’ which involves reducing the width of the biface at about the same rate as the thickness, producing a blank with a relatively thick, lenticular cross section. If the blank was too thick, platforms were established at one or both ends of the blank, and long thinning flakes were struck to remove significant mass from the centre. This is referred to as an ‘end thinning’ bifacial reduction technique, and it appears to be unique in Australia to the Gudjala stoneworkers.

The flake in this model was initiated by bending from an on-edge percussion blow, suggesting the use of a soft hammerstone or organic billet.

See the annotations for technological details about this stone tool.