This silcrete core tool 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 Lower LC 11.
This tool was made by unifacially flaking a medium-sized silcrete cobble through the short axis. The stone is a weathered cobble typical of silcrete ‘gibber’ deposits that occur extensively across this part of Australia. Reduction was accomplished by hard-hammer percussion to provide a convex edge around part of the cobble’s perimeter. The remaining part of the perimeter was not flaked, likely to protect the hand during use. The retouched edge is moderately to heavily rounded from use in chopping a soft material, probably wood. Microflaking is present down the core face and across the platform surface. The the edge was carefully shaped—and perhaps resharpened—by the removal of short, step-terminated flakes down the core face. This is the same approach used to shape and maintain horsehoof cores, and this artefact is a variant of the horsehoof type. ‘Classic’ horsehoof cores tend to have a longer core face and reduction around a greater proportion of the circumference.
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.