This silcrete flake blank core, or core-on-flake, is from southwest Queensland. It was collected during a collaborative research project between archaeologists and Mithaka People to better understand the deep history of the Mithaka.
The artefact is on loan to Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology, University New England, catalogue name Brokehimarm Bottom No. 190.
See the annotations for technological details about this stone tool.
This flake blank is over 16 cm long and was struck by hard-hammer percussion from a very large core. Prior reduction scars cover the dorsal surface, indicating that the large core was itself heavily reduced before this flake was struck. No core of this size—or similarly-sized large flakes—were found near this artefact, indicating that it was struck at a stone quarry and taken away as part of the exported the toolkit. This quarrying strategy is widespread in Australia—large flake blanks were carried from the quarry and served as both sources for smaller flakes and as chopping or scraping tools.
The flake blank was reduced by striking flakes along one edge from a platform on the dorsal surface. These flakes removed iron staining on the dorsal surface of the flake blank. The iron staining is limited to one margin on the dorsal surface of the tool, and is absent from the ventral surface. It appears to be ochre pigment residue rather than iron staining from taphonomic processes.
Brokehimarm Cave is located near Moondah Lake at an elevation of around 80 metres. The site complex has a number of silcrete outcrops on the top of the low relief escarpment, but this artefact was found in an extensive scatter approximately 100 metres long and 20 metres wide immediately below the cave. The material looks very similar to the material in the outcrops above the cave site. There are a number of other features in the landscape nearby including a large stone arrangement, possible initiation circles, knapping floors, earth ovens, and potential gunyah (hut) remains.