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Wailwan grindstone fragment, c 30,000 years old
Made by Ancestor
Australian Museum Collection.
This fragment from the rim of a grindstone found in the Cuddie Springs archaeological site, on Wailwan Country, demonstrates the longevity of food preparation dating back over 30,000 years. Scientific analysis of the usewear and evidence of starch residue supports Aboriginal people’s assertion that they have been using grindstones to make flour for cooking for thousands of years.
First Nations peoples have a long and deep understanding of land management; they did not randomly hunt or gather resources. Country was systematically, seasonally, efficiently, and sustainably maintained; accessing food was not labour-intensive and traditional practices were suited to the local environment.
- Dodson, J., Fullagar, R., Furby, J., Jones, R., & Prosser, I. (1993). Humans and megafauna in a late Pleistocene environment from Cuddie Springs, north western New South Wales. Archaeology In Oceania, 28(2), 94-99.
- Dodson, J., Fullagar, R., Furby, J., Jones, R., & Prosser, I. (1993). Humans and megafauna in a late Pleistocene environment from Cuddie Springs, north western New South Wales. Archaeology In Oceania, 28(2), 94-99. See also (regarding fragment CS6034): Fullagar, R., & Field, J. (1997). Pleistocene seed-grinding implements from the Australian arid zone. Antiquity, 71(272), 300-307.
- Fletcher, M. (2020). This rainforest was once a grassland savanna maintained by Aboriginal people. Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage. From https:// epicaustralia.org.au/this-rainforest-wasonce-a-grasslandsavanna-maintained-byaboriginal-people/ Gammage, B. (2012). The biggest estate on Earth: How Aborigines made Australia. Allen & Unwin