Crafting Country

Aboriginal Archaeology in the Eastern Chichester Ranges, Northwest Australia

Caroline Bird and James W. Rhoads

Regular price $50.00 Sale

Format: paperback
344 pages
ISBN: 9781743326169
Publication: 01 Apr 2020
Series: Tom Austen Brown Studies in Australasian Archaeology
Publisher: Sydney University Press

Also available from

Buy ebook: Google Play Kindle iBookstore

Based on ten years of surveys and excavations in Nyiyaparli country in the eastern Chichester Ranges, north-west Australia, Crafting Country provides a unique synthesis of Holocene archaeology in the Pilbara region. The analysis of about 1000 sites, including surface artefact scatters and 19 excavated rock shelters, as well as thousands of isolated artefacts, takes a broad view of the landscape, examining the distribution of archaeological remains in time and space. Heritage compliance archaeology commonly focuses on individual sites, but this study reconsiders the evidence at different scales – at the level of artefact, site, locality, and region – to show how Aboriginal people interacted with the land and made their mark on it.

Crafting Country shows that the Nyiyaparli ‘crafted’ their country, building structures and supplying key sites with grindstones, raw material and flaked stone cores. In so doing, they created a taskscape of interwoven activities linked by paths of movement.

Caroline Bird is a consulting archaeologist with Archae-aus and an Honorary Research Associate with the Western Australian Museum. She specialises in stone artefact analysis.

James W. Rhoads is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia, and an Honorary Research Associate at the Australian Museum, Sydney. His main area of interest is in Papua New Guinea ethnoarchaeology

List of figures
List of tables
Foreword by Peter Hiscock

1. Background: compliance archaeology and research in the Pilbara
2. Research framework
3. Natural environment and cultural contexts
4. Surface artefact scatters
5. Rockshelters
6. Site and landscape
7. Crafting country


'Using compliance datasets, Bird and Rhoads have begun to demonstrate what an effective set of methods for stone artefact analyses might look like where landscape‐scale approaches are privileged, and temporal aggregative processes are not ignored. Indeed, this book should be a staple for consultants and academics working in the Pilbara for years to come.'
Kane Ditchfield   Archaeology in Oceania

"Crafting Country is an important step in making the archaeology of the Pilbara more accessible...[it] fills an important gap in our understanding"
Simon Wyatt-Spratt   Lithic Technology

Format: paperback
Size: 254 × 178 × 20 mm
344 pages
Copyright: © 2020
ISBN: 9781743326169
Publication: 01 Apr 2020
Series: Tom Austen Brown Studies in Australasian Archaeology