Jo McDonald's research while affiliated with University of Western Australia and other places

Publications (10)

Article
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The Nganjarli site complex, which includes a rich body of rock art, shell middens and artefact scatters, has been identified by the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) as the primary location within Murujuga National Park for tourism and interpretation facilities. Murujuga National Park lies on the north-west coast of Western Australia, and withi...
Article
Recent studies conducted in Murujuga Sea Country have confirmed that Indigenous Australian archaeology does not end at the modern shore. Since the earliest peopling of the Australian continent, sea levels have fluctuated significantly, dropping as much as 130 m below modern mean sea-level during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). During this period, t...
Article
Full-text available
During the past 20,000 years approximately one-quarter of the continental landmass of Australia was inundated by postglacial sea-level rise, submerging archaeological evidence for use of these landscapes. Underwater archaeological sites can offer substantial insights into past lifeways and adaptations to rapidly changing environments, however the v...
Article
Full-text available
The Dampier Archipelago (Murujuga) is on Australia’s National Heritage List because of its significant rock art and numerous stone structures. When people first started living in this arid landscape of the north-west coast, 50,000 years ago, the shoreline was 160 kilometres further north-and west. The Archipelago was created around 7,000 years ago,...
Article
Full-text available
Recent work at Serpents Glen ('Karnatukul') in the Carnarvon Ranges (Katjarra) of the Western Desert has changed our archaeological understanding of both deep time occupation and more recent arid-zone social geography. Mobilising rock art evidence into earlier models for how arid zone peoples have entered, settled and known Country has allowed us t...
Article
Full-text available
This article reports Australia’s first confirmed ancient underwater archaeological sites from the continental shelf, located off the Murujuga coastline in north-western Australia. Details on two underwater sites are reported: Cape Bruguieres, comprising > 260 recorded lithic artefacts at depths down to −2.4 m below sea level, and Flying Foam Passag...
Article
Stone artifacts recently identified in the intertidal zone at Dolphin Island, Dampier Archipelago, suggest Aboriginal Australian occupation before inundation from early to mid-Holocene sea-level rise. If these artifacts do pre-date inundation, they would be the first evidence for a submerged coastal site on the Dampier Archipelago—substantiating pe...

Citations

... These claims generated much interest and associated publicity. For B2020, this included ∼80 separate news articles (e.g., Bradley, 2020;France-Press, 2020;Michelmore,2020;Pinkstone, 2020;Watson, 2021;Young, 2020) in addition to numerous Twitter feeds and blog posts. 1 The scientific literature has also uncritically referred to B2020's work (e.g., Crabtree et al., 2021;Ditchfield et al., 2021;Hale et al., 2021;Leach et al., 2021;McCarthy et al., 2021;McDonald et al., 2020;Wiseman et al., 2021, p. 154;Lebrec et al., 2022). Here, we explore the original claims. ...
... These claims generated much interest and associated publicity. For B2020, this included ∼80 separate news articles (e.g., Bradley, 2020;France-Press, 2020;Michelmore,2020;Pinkstone, 2020;Watson, 2021;Young, 2020) in addition to numerous Twitter feeds and blog posts. 1 The scientific literature has also uncritically referred to B2020's work (e.g., Crabtree et al., 2021;Ditchfield et al., 2021;Hale et al., 2021;Leach et al., 2021;McCarthy et al., 2021;McDonald et al., 2020;Wiseman et al., 2021, p. 154;Lebrec et al., 2022). Here, we explore the original claims. ...
... For example, a blog post from the Deep History of Sea Country (DHSC) project team members indicates it was local knowledge rather than systematic survey (c.f. Benjamin et al., 2020;Wiseman et al., 2021) that directed scientists to the submerged stone features in the Cape Bruguieres channel in the Dampier Archipelago (CRARM, 2020) ( Figure 1). Claims that the Cape Bruguieres site represents the first in situ submerged archaeological site in Australia (Benjamin et al., 2020) have unfortunately not stood up to scientific scrutiny, with the site almost certainly representing a secondary (i.e., reworked) and ponded artefact scatter, i.e., artefacts accumulated in ponded water above lowest tide level (Ward et al., 2022b). ...
... Karnatukul is located within a broad valley at the southwestern corner of Katjarra (the Carnarvon Ranges) in the Western Desert ( Fig. 1), approximately 160 km NNW of Wiluna. The Martu Traditional Owners continue to visit, to protect and manage this site within the Birriliburu Indigenous Protected Area (McDonald, 2020). The rockshelter is located in the southwest of the Little Sandy Desert (LSD) bioregion (Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, 2020). ...
... Indeed, the northeast Australian coastline likely hosted large freshwater lagoon systems before sea-level rise breached the continental shelf, with karstified hills along the continental margin from previous reef building episodes during high stands blocking the outlet of rivers to the shelf edge (Woolfe et al., 1998;Dunbar and Dickens, 2003). Benjamin et al. (2020) have also located evidence for the availability of freshwater on the Pleistocene coast in the form of drowned freshwater springs near Cape Bruguieres, Murujuga. ...
... The submerged cultural potential of this northern region has been explored first in the Cootamundra Shoals, c. 240 km offshore Darwin (Flemming 1986), and further south in the Dampier Archipelago region (e.g. Ward et al. 2013;Ward, Larcombe, and Veth 2015). This led to more dedicated research in the culturally rich and ancient Dampier Archipelago region and reports of the first in situ marine prehistoric archaeological sites (Dortch et al. 2019;Benjamin et al. 2020). The taphonomy of these finds has, however, come under close scrutiny, with the alternative explanation put forward that they represent reworked and ponded stone artefacts and hence present a different interpretation of past cultural activity . ...