Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Projects

Cultural Heritage Salvage in Cranbourne

Archaeological salvage in Cranbourne

Our team of Cultural Heritage Advisors was commissioned by Peet Limited to undertake the archaeological salvage for a residential subdivision at Evans Road, Cranbourne. 

The salvage program included the excavation of 25m² at five Aboriginal sites in cooperation with the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung communities.

Cultural Heritage consultants in the field

Following the salvage the results were compared with other recent excavations in Cranbourne. Thanks to AMS radiocarbon dating, a remarkably detailed pattern of raw material use and technological adaptation during the last 6,000 years has begun to emerge.

At Evans Road, occupation appears to have commenced around 5,000 years ago, with a technological focus on large silcrete cores and flakes.

This era of larger, predominantly silcrete artefacts between 2,500 and 5,000 years ago did not feature tools diagnostic of the Australian Small Tool Tradition (ASTT) such as backed artefacts. 

The results from the salvage at VAHR7921-0616 and VAHR7921-0617 in particular, indicate that these technologies were uncommon at these sites in until after 2000 BP.  The late Holocene quartz became the favoured raw material at the Evans Road sites.

What the salvage demonstrates

Collectively, recent salvage excavations in Cranbourne are beginning to demonstrate variation in raw material use, tool production and resource exploitation over time.

The data from Evans Road and other sites subject to extensive salvage excavation show that the mid and late Holocene periods at Cranbourne are characterised by ‘complexity.’

This complexity relates to the specificities of environmental adaptation and change, technological and risk responsive behaviours and changing social boundaries and circumstance, such as the flooding of Port Phillip Bay.

The changes observed in the archaeological record reflect a compelling narrative of Aboriginal occupation to the Cranbourne landscape during the last 5,000 years.


For further information, assistance and advice contact us on 03-9377-0100 or enquire@ehpartners.com.au

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