This pebble-edged core is made from metasedimentary stone and 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, and the surfaces are heavily eroded from rolling on a low-energy beach.
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. The tool was found on an active, low-energy beach behind outcrops of bedrock exposed at low tide. Rolling among pebbles and abrasion by beach sand have heavily rounded the boundaries and faces of the flake scars, although the overall morphology is still discernible. Visit this model and this model to see Gumbaynggirr pebble-edged cores that are in fresh condition.
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.