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Jo McDonald, Wendy Reynen, Zane Blunt, Kane Ditchfield, Carly Monks, Joe Dortch, Peter Veth

These Burrup digs targeted previously unexplored landscapes. Old Geos is in the centre of the Burrup while the Watering Cove Holocene sand dunes are on its east.

The Old Geos site has engravings, midden and artefacts, grinding patches and stone structures. Excavation revealed intensive Tegillarca (i.e. Anadara sp.) midden occupation between 1,890 - 760 cal. BP, following earlier mangrove focussed occupation c. 7,500 years ago.

The Watering Cove dunes (as visible in this image) accumulated between 5,500-3,890 cal BP and blowouts reveal widespread stone scatters and midden. This sequence reveals rock platform species throughout and late establishment of mangrove and sandy beach conditions.

The Watering Cove stone tool assemblages are all sparse. The Mid-Holocene focus on rock platform species here with a late switch to Terebralia likely indicates the later establishment of mangroves at Watering Cove.


The Old Geos site (visible in this image) included open midden as well as circular stone structures. Occupation in the open began slightly earlier than within the stone structure, but site use was the same in the more recent past.

4,668 Tegillarca shells in one square represent c. 28 kg of meat. Shell size reveals selectivity and sustainability in harvesting over 940 years.

The shellfish diet was supplemented by fish, turtle, macropods and plants. Polish, plant fibres and blood residues on stone tool show that people processed both plants and animals here. Someone wearing a shell necklace lost beads at this site.

Murujuga Dynamics of the Dreaming Map

Click on each photo to learn more

Chapter Fifteen details the excavation and analysis of two squares at Old Geos and seven locations across the Watering Cove dune.

All photographs within this monograph were taken by CRAR+M researchers, partners and students, and have been given cultural approval for publication by Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation. Future use of imagery would require additional permissions from Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and CRAR+M.

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