This metasedimentary pebble-edged core is from near Coffs Harbour on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. This is the traditional country of the Gumbaynggirr people. The core likely dates to the Late Holocene.
This core was made on a flat water-rounded beach or river cobble. The stoneworker struck percussion flakes unifacially through the cobble, creating a sharp-edged tool. Archaeologists refer to this type of core as ‘pebble-edged’ because the cutting edge is at the junction of the original cobble surface and the flake scars. Holocene assemblages from the north coast of New South Wales have a variety of cobble-based core tool shapes; this one is typical of cobbles that were flaked parallel to their long axis, maximising the length of the edge. The flaking extended around one end of the cobble.
See the annotations for technological details about this stone tool.
The artefact is part of the Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology teaching collection, University of New England.
Holocene assemblages from the north coast of New South Wales have a variety of pebble-based core tool shapes, and cobble-based tools have also been recorded in Tasmania and southwestern Australia. A similar cobble-based tool industry, called the Hoabinhian, was widespread in southeast Asia in the early and middle Holocene, prompting early arguments for a cultural connection between these areas. The large, cobble-based tools were called ‘sumatraliths’ by some early researchers. Cobble-based industries are also known from western Europe and North America, but the similarities in these tools is most likely the result of convergence on an effective approach to manufacturing stone tools from rounded cobbles.