One of these things is not like the others

Blog post 3

Adrian Fenech

I have finished the data analysis of the database comprised of many of the unexcavated and excavated rock shelters, and potential archaeological deposits located in the Pilbara region, Western Australia. This information should be very handy for future archaeological work in the area. One interesting pattern I found is the direction many of the rock shelters are facing.  In the data that I have looked at, most of them are facing in between east and south.  Bednarik (1977 p 55) has performed a considerable amount of work in rock shelters relating to rock art and takes a considerable interest in the ability of humans to build representations of reality. He found some results in the research performed in the Pilbara which are similar to the ones I located during data entry.  He found that most of the rock shelters faced east and north-east.  The results I have had are loosely similar to Bednarik’s, indicating some level of consistency across the greater part of the Pilbara .

Another data set I analysed was the metre-squared area of rock shelter sites against the numbers of stone artefacts. From this I found that most of the rock shelters were less than 60m2 and contained between one and four artefacts on the surface. I found that, for the better part, larger rock shelters had very few artefacts. This indicates that smaller rock shelters which contained a low number of artefacts are much more common than large rock shelters with numerous artefacts.

A single bailer shell was found in one of the rock shelters, which is very rare in the Pilbara (Lynley Wallis 2012. pers comm.). This site could be interesting to research in the future because of its uniqueness in the Pilbara.

Reference list

Bednarik, R.G. 1977 ‘A Survey of Prehistoric Sites in the Tom Price region, North Western Australia. Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in Oceania. 12:51-80.

Bednarik, R.G. n.d Robert G. Bednarik. Retrieved 12/6/12 from

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