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Stone Implements of the Natives of Tasmania By Henry Balfour. F.R.S Curator of the Pitt Rivers Museum 1891-1939

The study of the culture of the natives of Tasmania has been rendered extremely difficult from the fact that it received hardly any attention from competent scientific observers while the natives were still living and practicing their indigenous mode of life. The scant and superficial observations made by government officials and others during the earlier days of contact between whites and natives are quite insufficient to enable us to arrive at a fair estimate of the state of culture development which the Tasmanians had reached. In endeavoring to evaluate their status there has been a tendency to under-rate their achievement and to place these ratings at far too low a level in the general scale of culture development. The complete lack of understanding of this strictly primitive people and the significance of the difference between the point of view of the native on the one hand and the Europeans on the other led the latter to look upon the former as of little or no importance and very largely as a type of human vermin, whose continued occupation of the island was undesirable, since it impeded the exploitation of the land by white immigrants. The few who, like Robison, Bouicle, tried to establish friendly relations with the natives had little chance of success as the latter had little reason for welcoming the white man and the native population was exterminated in the short space of 70 years from the date of the first European settlement. The last pure blooded Tasmanian died in 1876 and this most interesting recent Stone Age people became extinct. What is known of their habits and general mode of life has been collected together from the literature by [Ling] Roth and what further researches may be carried out will chiefly be based upon the remains of the native artefacts which may still be collected. Most of the objects made of perishable materials have disappeared and objects of wood (spears, clubs, tools etc.) and other non-durable materials are extremely scarce in museums and private collections. Implements made of bone, being less perishable, are to be found occasionally in the kitchen middens and elsewhere but theses, too, are very rare; it appears that the natives made but little use of this material. A comparative study of the bone implements should prove of importance, but access to the material is difficult and I know of only one Tasmanian bone implement in England (in the Westlake collection). Fortunately, a vast mass of material for research exists in the imperishable stone implements, which may be found, often in great numbers, on the old camping grounds and at quarry workshops over a great area of the island. So far, the implements have been collected from the surface, or in middens, or have been turned out of the surface soil during agricultural operations. Little or no attempt has been made to conduct scientific excavations in order to ascertain whether any stratified sequence of culture phases can be determined; though such evidence might prove of great value in view of the fact, to be referred to later, that the stone implements, as viewed in bulk, suggest two distinct culture analogies when compared with the material derived from dateable prehistoric sites. 

I began to make a collection of Tasmanian stone implements some 40 years ago {~1896}, but the few hundreds which I was able to acquire from friends and correspondents did not amount to a truly representative series, from which generalisations could with confidence be made. Still, such the limited series proved very suggestive and gave promise of important truth when a larger mass of material became available for close examination. The news which I can now confidently put forward and the lines of enquiry which should be pursued were suggested very forcibly by some of the implement types which I had acquired.

The much desired opportunity of examining, at leisure, a very extensive series derived from various parts of the island came when, through the great kindness of the late E. Westlake of Fordingbridge, Hants, the whole of the collection of the 12,000 Tasmanian implements acquired by that indefatigable collector, as a result of his visit to Tasmania in 1906-1908, was placed in my hands for purposes of research. This collection was amassed from 123 sites upon the main island, from 10 sites of Bruni Island and from Maria Island. A list of these sites is given in an appendix. This covers a very wide area of Tasmania, the Western and Southern coasts and their hinterland alone being unrepresented. 

It may in general be said that, throughout the area represented, there is a close resemblance in the types and techniques of the implements, pointing to a uniformity of culture over the island. Such differences as may be noticed are explainable by the fact that while most of the sites from which abundant stone implements have been collected have clearly been camping grounds, where the tools were used, other sites are the quarry workshops where the raw material was obtained in abundance and was roughly worked into shapes which were presumably, largely trimmed up and finished on the camping grounds. 

Although the natives of Tasmania were existing until 80 – 100 years, under very primitive Stone Age conditions, in a state of arrested or greatly retarded development, and offered as a survival, a living presentment of the life conditions of early, prehistoric man, no detailed observations were made upon the manner in which they made and used their stone implements. Had their methods been studied while still part of the everyday occupation of the natives, a flood of light would have been thrown upon the manufacture and use of similar types of implements from Palaeolithic sites in Western Europe and elsewhere. The opportunity of arguing from the known to the unknown and of diagnosing the extinct industries through the medium of the living practices, was lost irretrievably through the rapid extermination of the aborigines, and but little enlightenment is forthcoming. Their stone implements must be investigated by the methods applied to archaeological finds and the final picture of their culture must in the main be constructed by similar means.

I am not here concerned with their general culture but with the study of the stone artefacts, which played so great a part in the domestic life of this Early Stone Age people.

The status of the Tasmanians as workers in stone has received much attention from archaeologists and anthropologists, who have variously endeavored to correlate their achievement with those of early prehistoric man, and who have offered widely divergent interpretations. On the one hand there have been those who have regarded the Tasmanian lithic technique as comparable with that of Eolithic or pre-palaeolithic Man of Late Pliocene or very early Pleistocene times.

Others, on the other hand, have recognised evidence of a far higher grade and have compared the local industry with that of Mousterian Man and have thus done greater justice to the Tasmanian capabilities. 

But in spite of the recognition by some of a marked Mousterian facies in the artefacts of Tasmania, the native achievements have yet been greatly undervalued, through the overlooking of equally striking evidence pointing to a still more evolved technique, directly comparable with that of the early culture phase of the Late Palaeolithic industries, associated with Aurignacian Man. If we are to view the material culture of the Tasmanians in its true perspective bearing, we are bound now to admit that several types of stone tools which are dominant in the Tasmanian series are such as in the European prehistoric sequence, do not appear as important types, if at all until the beginning of Late Palaeolithic times, that many of these are particularly characteristic of that culture phase, and also that the so-called ‘retouché Aurignacienne’ as a prominent a feature of the Tasmanian lithic technique as it is of the prehistoric Aurignacian. These parallels between the recent native and the earlier ‘Cave Period’ culture are so striking and obvious that it is surprising that they should have been overlooked by those who have handled representative collections of Tasmanian implements.

Perhaps this may partly be due to the absence in the Tasmanian material of evidence of many of the objects and practices which characterise the Aurignacian industry. Gaps there certainly are, pointing to a marked difference between the two cultures as a whole. The practical lack of realistic, or would be realistic art among the Tasmanians, the paucity and little specialisation of implements of bone etc. are points of differentiation which are important, as showing that the two races did not live under conditions which in a general way offer any very close similarities, the conditions of environment were, in fact, markedly different, involving different needs and affording different opportunities. The Tasmanians must have become isolated and immune to culture contacts, when Bass Straits were formed and created a deep-water and stormy channel between Australia and Van Diemen’s Land; and they must have remained so cut-off through a prolonged period, during which outside influence did not reach them.  Their culture remained stagnating and may, possibly, have retrogressed, the stimulus of competition, other than internal, being eliminated. They remained to the end a purely hunting people without even the beginning of the pastoral or agricultural life and to maintain life called for few and simple appliances and their habitations were of the simplest of temporary structures – the how was unknown to them; the spear thrower, so extensively employed by their neighbours the Australians, was equally unknown, and of industrial arts, pottery making, textilia (other than basketry and string work) were not practiced. Navigation was extremely rudimentary. 

On the other hand the prehistoric Aurignacian people of Europe, living under continental conditions, necessarily [had] contact with other culture than their own and were able to borrow ideas, a process which materially tends to accelerate the rate of progress and to lead to new types of appliances by introduction and ‘mutation’. They largely frequented caves, developed a greater number of specialised tools both in stone and in bone and they also led a purely hunting existence, success in which they endeavoured to promote by mimetic magic through the use of realistic renderings of animal, painted and carved. As far as we can judge from archaeological evidence, the Aurignacians had developed their general culture to a higher phase than did the Tasmanians. 

But, when we study the implements made from stone of the latter people, there are so many points of resemblance between the two cultures, as to suggest either that there is some remote culture affinity between them, or that we are dealing with a remarkably striking instance of ‘convergence’ or rather a series of ‘convergences’, though, in view of the number of points of resemblance, independent invention of similar types in response to similar needs appears to be an unlikely explanation of the correspondence. 

A very large number of the stone implements picked up in Tasmania may be described as merely improvised tool made quickly on the spur of the moment without care or very deliberate design and probably were thrown away after serving their temporary purpose. Such rough ‘tools of the moment’ can be left out of consideration, since they have little or no bearing upon the question of the status of the natives as workers in stone. Extempore tools made carelessly for some passing purpose are associated with all cultures and all times. Again there are quantities of rough spalls or wasters collected from the implement workshops and representing the unsuccessful attempts to fashion usable tools. These are merely rejects, discarded when it was found that the flaking process was not proceeding satisfactorily and according to intention and design. Such, again, occur abundantly on the workshop floor of all stone-age period. It is no doubt due to the abundance of these crudely worked stones that some archaeologists have inferred that they represent the characteristic achievements of the Tasmanian stone-workers, and that these observers have been led to generalise from such evidence and so underestimate the native skill and attainments. It would be just as equitable to evaluate the skill and culture development of the twentieth century by the feeblest effort of junior apprentices. 

When we examine and sort into groups the deliberately fashioned implements of Tasmanian, classify them into types and study the technique applied to their manufacture, it becomes clear that certain well defined types are repeated over and over again, and we can recognise a number of more or less specialised types of tools adapted to specific functions. We may further note that, as I have already indicated, these dominant tool types fall into two distinct categories which suggest correspondence with the stone artefacts of two distinct phases of the Early Stone Age (a) the mid-palaeolithic Mousterian culture and (b) the Early-Late palaeolithic Aurignacian culture. 

In addition to these two categories there are other well defined implements types which do not suggest similar affinities; I will make reference to these towards the end of my paper, as I am anxious to concentrate more especially on the implements of (a) and (b) groups, taking each group separately.

Pl.I A) Implements exhibiting a Mousterian facies. 

These in some of the groups correspond very closely with types which are especially characteristic of typical Mousterian horizons in Western Europe. Other types of tools, which are very abundant in Tasmania, exhibit a Mousterian facies rather in the character of the secondary flaking of their edges, than in the facies, which is less prominently mid-palaeolithic.

The following groups call for special attention. 

RACLOIRS or side-scrapers. These form an important group of implements, for which the natives must have had considerable use. They are extremely variable in outline, made from flakes of any shape which suited the purpose. Some are neatly trimmed and are comparable with the better examples of the Mousterian cultures of Le Mourdieu, La Quina ( ‘Homme forrle de la Quina, p.15) Les Rebieres and other typical French sites of Mousterian deposits.

Some typical Tasmanian examples of Racloirs are figured in pl. I. 

Fig. 1. Racloir of silicified mud-stone made from a sub-triangular flake with one long edge very uniformly and boldly flaked to a bevel, the edge being further trimmed by the removal of very minute flakes. The resultant, slightly convex, usable edge is very level and free from undulations. The butt is straight and flat and fairly thick (c.18mm) is covered with crust. 

{The long edge shows coarse, irregular flaking on the opposite surface (a-b)}

Fig. 2. Sub triangular Racloir of silicified mud-stone, with portions of a reddish crust remaining, made from a stout flake. The antibulbas surface has been skillfully and boldly flaked to a very steep-angled bevel, along one long margin apex to butt, the continuity of whose curve has been rendered true by additional, smaller flaking. The centre of the edge shows signs of some heavy use which has somewhat comminuted and indented it. The bulb of percussion is near centre of the opposite long margin which shows remains of the original striking platform. The butt or base of the triangle is thick (c.20mm) and flat. 

Fig. 3. A very similar Racloir of mudstone, closely resembling a Mousterian example from Combe Capelle, Dordogne. The bulb of detachment of the flake is at the broader end where remains part of the striking platform. The secondary and tertiary bevel – flaking along one of the longer margins from end to end exhibits the ‘step’ or resolved flaking characteristic of Mousterian techniques. The opposite long margin is very roughly trimmed for grasping in the hand. 

Fig. 4. Racloir of silicified mudstone, pointed at one end and truncated at the other (bulbas) end. The curved lateral margin is flaked to a bevel, with more delicate flaking than in the previous examples and the angle of this edge is more acute. This edge flaking does not extent as far as the pointed end, where it is interrupted by a hinge fracture, which causes this portion of the edge to be rounded and smooth. 

Fig. 5. Racloir of silicified mudstone, with creamy-grey patina, with the edge bevel flaked along the greater extent of the margin. The untrimmed and blunt area consists of the remains of the striking platform (a-b). The beveling of the longer, curved margin is neatly executed in typically Mousterian style. Bulbas surface unworked. The flat striking platform fits comfortably along the first phalanx of the index finger and the rough flaking (a-c) probably was a deliberate blunting of the rest of the back of the scraper, against which the other two joints of the finger could rest.

Fig. 6. Racloir of [indurated] mudstone, with one long margin neatly flaked to a bevel from end to end of the antibulbas surface in characteristic Mousterian style. The bulbas surface is untouched. 

Fig. 7. Racloir of silicified mudstone, with one margin flaked with much skill, to form a very regular, long, curved usable edge. The opposite margin is also flaked along, but irregularly; the prominent point on this margin appears to have been formed deliberately and was probably a tool in itself. 

Fig. 8. Racloir of heavily silicified mudstone. Made from a thick flake (c.28mm) which has been fractured along cleavage line, the cementing of which remains as a crust over the thick flat back and ends. The long bevelled margin is flaked from end to end forming a good and regular scraping edge. A few flakes have been struck from the opposite surface for no apparent purpose. This specimen has been considerably rolled and it’s edges and ridges are grealty dulled.

Fig. 9. Racloir of silicified mudston. The straight margin is flat and formed by a cleavage plane. The long curved margin has been exceedingly well flaked throughout its length, producing an excellent bevelled edge. The bulbas surface is untouched. 

Fig. 10. Racloir of silicified mudstone, made from a flake (c.28mm) thick. The long, comparatively straight margin boldly flaked to a bevel from end to end, the edge neatly trimmed with smaller flaking. The bevelled edge extends 1 ½ inches along the other margin at the pointed end. The back of the blade is coarsely flaked in front of the bulb, and the base is think and flat, formed by a cleavage plane. Bulbas surface unflaked. 

Fig. 11. Racloir made from a pebbled piece of sedimentary rock, which appears to have split naturally along a plane cleaveage, the under surfacebeing perfectly flat and showing no sign of a detaching blow. A considerable area of the upper surface (shown in the figure) seems to be a portion of the original pebble surface, and is rounded. Along one long margin a portion of an inner layer is exposed along a cleavage-plane and this margin has been carefully flaked all along, to produce a very regular, long and strongly curved scraping edge. 

Fig. 12. Racloir of indurated mudstone, with a very carefully bevelled edge extending along one long margin and the the two ends. The final ‘truing’ of the edge by detaching very small flakes has been very successfully carried out. The opposite margin is thick and blunt, a few flakes having been detached for hand accommodation. The bulbas surface is unworked. 

Fig. 13. Racloir of indurated mudstone. A bevelled edge extends around about 2/3 of the margin, the other third having a flat, sloping surface upon which the index finger can rest comfortably in grasping the tool. The edge flaking is skillful. Bulbas surface not worked. 

Fig. 14. Racloir of indurated mudstone, having a worked bevelled edge all round the margin. The flaking varies, being very carefully executed along one long margin and the broader end, while the other long margin is only coarsely flaked and seems to be intended for hand hold only. The surface of detachment from the core is untouched. 

Fig. 15. Racloir of indurated mudstone, in the form of a scaline triangle, having two margins carefully flaked to bevelled edges. The base is formed by a fracture (possibly accidental) and is thick and flat forming a blunted back. The flaking of the longer margin extends rather far over the surface, while along the shorter margin the flake scars are uniformly short and the angle is steeper. The surface of detachment is unworked. 

The Racloirs form an important and numerous group in the Tasmanian tool-series. They vary greatly in outline and in finish, some being extremely rough and seemingly, mere extempora tools, while others exhibit care and design in the making and will compare favourably with the better-class Racloirs of the prehistoric Mousterian culture, which they strikingly resemble. The bevelled edges vary greatly in their angles; many are very steep-edged, approaching a right angle, others are quite acute with the sharp but relatively weak edges. The latter might have served as knives rather than as scrapers, and some of the less acute edges may have been intended for a chopping function. But the close resemblance of this group to the Mousterian ‘Racloir’ types warrant their being grouped under that name. 

This interesting to note among the implements of this group the fusiform Racloir (not figured here) pointed at both ends and with both margins flaked to a bevelled edge from end to end. This is strikingly like an example figured by Obermaier (El hombre fosil, 1916, fig 29 (2)) as being a typical Mousterian implement, from the Middle stratum of Le Moustier, Dordogne. The type is rare in Tasmania, but its occurrence adds to the Mousterian facies. 

Pl.II Knives of Racloir type. As typologically related to the Racloirs one may deal here with a fairly numerous group of flaked implements which, in form, closely resemble the Racloirs, but are usually much smaller and are characterised by their bevelled margins being much more delicately flaked and by their usable edges being more acute than in typical side-scrapers. Their appearance would suggest that they were used for cutting rather than scraping. Although they exhibit affinity with the Mousterian Racloirs, the delciacy of their secondary flaking suggest a more evolved technique. Many appear to have been flaked by pressure rather than percussion. 

Nine selected examples of these are shown in Pl.II figs. 16-24. 

All are made from flakes and their bublas surfaces are entirely unworked. In many of the better defined examples the edge-flaking is very uniform and the flakes scare are wodnerfully even, extending even the surface for a short distance and ending abruptly in a more or less level line. The secondary edge-flaking of Fig. 22 is not more that 2mm in length of the flake scars.

There are in the Tasmanian series many specimens which are much larger than those here figured, but which seem to belong to this category by reason of the delicacy and acuteness of their bevelled edges. The general outlines of this series are very variable, suitable flakes having been selected and apart from the edge-trimming there are few alterations such as adaptations for hand-grip, though several have a relatively thick, blunt back. In each of the figured examples the extent of [the] deliberately bevelled margin is indicated by the area included between the dotted radial lines. 

It does not appear necessary here to describe of the figured speicmens seperatly, as all present the same general features and the chief difference is I nthe extnet to which the fine bevelling is carried along the margin, stirctly speaking I am disposed to link this group with those exhibiting the characteristics of Aurignacioan technique, in spite of their Racloir-like appearance. 


Pl.III Mousterian Points. A well-represented group of flake implements in the Tasmanian outfit is strongly reminiscent of that characteristic Middle-Palaeolithic group known as the pointes Mousteriennes. The special feature of these consists in two margins of the anti-bulbas surface being secondarily flaked to bevelled edges which converge towards one end so as to form a point, or sometimes rounded-off end. It has not been determined whether the pointed ends were especially functional, or whether these tools served primarily as double-edged side-scrapers. The extent of the marginal bevelling in many of the examples suggests the latter view, though, even allowing that these tools were double-scrapers, the pointed ends may well have functioned secondarily. 

13 Tasmanian examples are shown on plate III figure 25-37. All are made from struck flakes and their bulbas surfaces are entirely untrimmed. The bulbs are thick, and usual remains of the ‘striking platform’, with the bulb of percussion extend from it; though in some the flat surface of the platform has been trimmed away (Fig. 29). The two other margins are secondarily flaked to form bevelled edges which converge and meet in a sharp or rounded point. This bevelling does not necessarily extend along the whole length of the margins, one of which is frequently flaked along for a short distance only (Fig. 35 and 37). While some are acutely point, others are very broad and their pointed ends relatively wide angled. (Fig 32,33,35,36,37). Rounded ends appear in Fig. 28 and 34. 

The secondary flaking is for the most part reminiscent of the Mousterian edge flaking, showing stepped or ‘resolved’ flake scares – From a typological standpoint it seems quite justifiable to correlate this type of Tasmanian tool with the pointes Mousteriennes characteristic of Middle-palaeolithic times. The large example shown in Fig. 29 has the projecting angle at (a) rounded off by flaking to form a grattoir a museau . All the specimens figured are of chertified mudstone. 

Pl.IV+V Chopper-Scrapers. [Fig. 38-62] A very important category of stone tools in Tasmania is one which, for want of a better name, I designate as chopper-crapers. The confines of this group are by no means clearly defined, but the more typical examples exhibit characters of their own and clearly appear to have been adapted to specific purposes. They are not, as a ggroup, readily seperated from the side- and the end-scrapers, since many of the implements which I have provisionally included in this group might by others be placed in one or other of the two other groups. That is to say that a number of relatively undifferentiated types are not easily clarified into definite catergories as specilised tools. But the same may be said of implements classified in any typological group of Tasmanian implements. The border line between groups in not-clearly defined and intermediate types are abundant. Tool specialisation had not reached a high degree of development, and one must remember that the Tasmanians, as, probably, all other primitive peoples, made each tool serve a variety of purposes in addition to that for which the implments was more especially designed and made. The overlapping of types is not to be wondered at and the same classificatory difficulty arises in diagnosing the implements of the prehistoric series. 

The group of ‘chopper-scrapers’, which is a very numerous group, is mainly distinguishable from the Racloirs and grattoirs which they frequently resemble, by greater size, weight; they are more massive, in fact. The functional edges are usually steep, and usually less carefully trimmed than in the other groups reffered to. These tools appear to be more suited to a chopping function than to the more delicate scraping, and moreover, thesigns of use frequently suggest that the tools had been subjected to heavy chopping work, such as cutting notches in trees, for climbing, or rough-trimming of timber, purposes for which the tools are well adapted. The nothcing was a regular and constant practice of the natives who ascended very tall trees by means of the notches in which the great toes were inserted. 

The most typical and specialised examples in this group consist of large, thick flakes, the bulbas surface of which isually is entirely unworked. The butt is a flat surface formed by leaving a portion of the ‘striking platform’ (or occassionally the flat surface of a cleavage place) this forming a flat, blunt margin which is well adapted to filling in the hollow of the hand and preventing its being cut, as it would be were the butt sharp-edged. 

Fig. 38,41,42,43,44,45,46, all show parts of the striking platform remaining along the butt, affording a safe and comfortable hand-grip.

In Fig. 39, the bulb and remains of the platform are at the side, and the blunt butt is formed by a cleavage plane as are the bults of 39 and 49, while the blunting of the butt of Fig. 47 has been effected by flaking at right angles to the surface-planes. The butt of Fig. 48 has also been flaked, but at a less steep angle, leaving a relatively sharp edge, though still adapted for hand-hold.

The worked cutting edges are along the margin opposite to the butt, and vary considerably in their extent, as also in thise steepness ([ic.] the angle which they make with the palne of detachment). The extent of the deliberately flaked cutting edges is indicated by the space between the radial dotted lines. The secondary flaking is very largely reminiscient of the characteristic Mousterian edge-flaking, but a few examples exhibit flaking more typically Mousterian, pointing to a more evoled technique. 

Figs.38-47 represent more or less normal specimens of this group with flat, blunt butt opposite to the cutting edge. Fig. 48 shows one in which two margins, each carefully worked to a cutting edge, converge and meet in a rounded point; the form of this tool suggests a special function, though it may merely be a double-edged variety of the chopping tool. Fig. 49 is peculiar in having a very broad flat-butt which converges upon one end of the cutting-edge at the thickest part of the flake (26mm), the edge-flaking is Aurignacian in type. 

Pl.V Fig. 50 is of typical form, but very small, light, the straight, flat butt is formed by a cleavage plane and is coated thickly by the remains of a ‘cementing’ layer.

Fig. 51. has a similar straight, flat butt formed by a fracture probably following a line of cleavage, but with no trace of ‘cementing’ material. Its worked cutting edge extends round two thirds of the periphery, converging on the butt at either end. 

Fig. 52 has a portion of the ‘striking platform’ remaining to form the blunt, flat butt; the opposite margin is very carefully and neatly formed to a cutting edge, the side margins being trimmed more coarsely for shaping only.

Fig. 53 is characterised by having a portion of the striking platform forming a flat butt (a-b) for the hollow of the hand but also another flat margin (b-c) upon which the two distal joints of the fore finger rests very comfortably. It is in fact admirably adapted for gripping and protecting the hand from abrasion. 

Fig. 54, made from a small boulder, has its blunt rounded back formed of a portion of the original external pebbled surface, remaining intact. The secondary flaking of the cutting edge is graduated from one end to the other of its extent, and is extremely reminiscent of Aurignacian flaking. 

Fig. 55. recalls Fig. 49, but appears to be a more developed form of the same type, the carefully worked cutting edge extending so as to meet both ends of the long flat butt or back. It would also appear, from the way in which it fits into the hand, to be intended for use in the right hand, which Fig. 49 appear better adapted for the left hand. 

Fig. 56. has a very broad flat back and its trimmed cutting edge, which meets the back at either end, is abruptly curved near the centre; which in Fig. 57 has a still more abruptly curved trimmed edge, the careful and delicate trimming of which extends for a short distance only, this appears to indicate a variety designed for a special use. The back at the end opposite to the cutting edge is broad and flat and fits well into the base of the forefinger, while another flat margin at the side gives lodgment to the two terminal joints of the finger, providing a very comfortable and secure grip.

The implements so-far described under the general category of ‘chopper-scrapers’ are all characterised by having the back or butt, flat or blunted to adapt the tools to fit into the hollow of the hand, or, rather, to lodge against the base of the fore-finger. These tools can thus be used even for fairly heavy chopping work without striking abrasion of the hand such as might be caused by a sharp or jagged edge butt. But there is another series whose general form and the nature of whose trimmed cutting edges conform with those of the ‘chopper-scrapers’ already described, but which lack the blunt, flat butt of the former series. The margin at the butt end of these is more or less sharp and often very jagged and irregular, proving a very awkward and uncomfortable grip, liable to lacerate the hand, if used for chopping. These might be regarded as unfinished, but for the fact that the trimmed cutting edges are often so carefully finished off and in some cases give evidence of having been used. There is no evidence of the practice of hafting these, or any other stone tools, among the Tasmanians. Hence one must regard them as hand-tools and leave the question of their particular use or uses open. Fig. 58 shows a large example of this sharp-butted type. It is true that a portion of the striking-platform remains as a flat surface at the butt end, but this slopes sharply and still leaves a sharp, jagged edge, ill adapted for hand-hold. The edge opposite to the butt is boldly but well flaked to a moderately steep bevel and has all the appearance of a finished cutting edge. It is possible that a pad of hide may have been used to protect the hand from laceration. 

The circular implements shown in figs, 59-62 form an interesting and somewhat uncommon group, characterised by having a carefully worked cutting edge running completely, or very nearly completely, round the periphery. All are made from struck flakes, the bulbas surface being entirely unworked. In Fig. 59 a small portion of the ‘striking platform’ remains and furnishes a very short flat facet, but hardly sufficient for protection the hand. The beveled edge otherwise entirely encircles the implement. 

Fig. 60 shows a similar implement of large size in which no part of the ‘striking platform’ remains, but a portion of the peripheral margin is very roughly blunted for hand-hold, apparently by a process of battering. The flaking of the antibulbas surface is very bold and extends over the greater part of the surface. The actual edge has been carefully trimmed by small ‘step’ flaking. 

Fig. 61 and 62 show no blunted portion of the margin, the carefully trimmed cutting-edge extending completely round the periphery of the discs, and any part of the edge could be used for cutting, chopping or scraping. The character of the edge-flaking of these discs is on the whole Mousterian, but although discoidal implements are not unknown in Mousterian horizons, I do not-know of any examples from ancient Mousterian deposits exactly similar to these Tasmanian bevel-edged discs, which are very creditable examples of the native flaking. 

The general type of tool which I have described under the term ‘chopper-scrapers’ does not in fact appear to be a dominant tool-type of the Mousterian culture, although in many ways the technique suggests affinity with the Middle Palaeolithic lithic art. It must be regarded as a local development which has arisen in response to a locally-felt want. At any rate it was evidently, from its great prevalence, in considerable demand among the Tasmanian natives, and may rank as one of their specialised and very characteristic tools.

Pl.VI (63-74) There is a large series of end-scrapers (‘grattoirs’) among the Tasmanian implements, and numerous fairly distinct varieties could be recorded, though differentiation is by no means complete, as the varieties overlap one another very considerably and intermediate types are abundant. Many of the end-scrapers recall both in shape and technique types which are abundant in the European Mousterian series. Some even recall types which are associated with Lower Palaeolithic horizons in Western Europe. Other, again, in that techniques of their secondary flaking resemble Late Palaeolithic types. But, it is to be noted, that the duck-bill scraper, so characteristic of the Aurignacian, Solutrean and Madelainean culture-phases, is but very poorly represented by occasional rather rough examples of scrapers which are relatively long and narrow and have their lateral margins more or less parallel, the scraping ends being usually rounded. Considering the pronounced Aurignacian affinity to be seen in several important groups of Tasmanian implements, it is curious that the duck-bill scraper should be so much in abeyance, only faintly adumbrated, so to speak. 

The 12 end-scrapers selected for description here are typical of the better made examples. There is throughout, a great variation in size, weight and thickness, as also in the angle found by the secondary bevel-flaking of the usable edge. Some are large and heavy enough to rank as small ‘chopper scrapers and it is as hard to draw a line between the latter group and the grattoirs as it is to differentiate clearly between it and the Racloir series. 

Fig. 63. shows a smallish fairly thick scrape of quartzite with strong, steep and strongly curved worked edge, of a type which might belong to almost any culture from the Middle Palaeolithic onwards.

Fig. 64. Also of quartzite, is another very similar example, though exhibiting more careful and delicate flaking along the worked edge, suggesting a late Palaeolithic technique.

Fig. 65. Is very thin, made from a scale detached from a schist-like mudstone with marked cleavage planes. The edge angle is by no means a steep one, and the implement would not resist very heavy pressure in use. The edge-flaking is Mousterian in character. 

Fig. 66. A thick scrape of mudstone with the well-worked edge extending two-thirds round the circumference, and recalling Mousterian technique. 

Fig. 67. A scraper of mudstone, with long carefully beveled strongly curved edge; the secondary flaking is cleanly executed and exhibits little sign of the Mousterian ‘step flaking’.

Fig. 68. A Scraper of mudstone with very good secondary flaking round two-thirds of its circumference; the flaking is rather Aurignaciod in character.

Fig. 69. A scraper of black, highly silicified mudstone, showing well defined ‘Mousterian’ flaking, and the edge angle is steep.

Fig. 70. A large, thick scraper of black mudstone. The end opposite the bulb is very boldly flaked to form a steep, strong scraping edge, and the two lateral margins are also flaked. Considerable battering has been applied towards the bulb end.

Fig. 71. A scraper made from a thick clumsy flake of mudstone, but the worked edge is remarkably efficient and regularly curved, having been tuned up by a delicate tertiary flaking. The broad, thick back has been roughly flaked to accommodate it to the hands grip and dull the edges. 

Fig. 72. A very well executed scraper of mudstone, with long and very carefully flaked beveled edge[s], whose curve is parabolic the back is rounded and a portion of the edge has been blunted, apparently for the fore finger to rest upon it. 

Fig. 73. A thick scraper with rather steep and regular beveled edges flaked in a ‘Mousterioid’ manner, and extending about two-thirds [of the way] round. 

Fig. 74. A scraper of mudstone with broad, acute, slightly curved beveled edges. The back is thick, irregular and untrimmed; trimming of the usable edge is carefully done. 

In all the above scrapers the bulbas surface shows no sign of intentional flaking. 

I now come to the series of groups of implements of high interest, the description of which is the principal objective of this paper. In these groups we can see both in their forms as tool-types and in the flaking technique applied to their manufacture, resemblances to the implements especially characteristic of the Aurignacian culture-phase in Western Europe and the related Capsian culture of Africa. The cumulative effect of the numerous points of similarity is to render most unlikely that the resemblances are the result of these types having been independently evolved in Tasmania, and that there is no direct relationship with the European Aurignacian industry or with the cognitive industries elsewhere. A theory of ‘convergent types’ will hardly meet the case, and one is driven to assume that a direct morphological affinity exists between the two series. It is curious that the ‘Aurignacian’ facies of so large a proportion of the implements made by the Tasmanians, should have been hitherto overlooked, but it appear to have escaped the notice of archaeologists and ethnologists until I published my paper in 1924 (The Status of the Tasmanians among the Stone-Age Peoples’) some 30 years after I had first suspected this link with the products of the late-Palaeolithic industry. The recognition of not only a Mousterian but also an Aurignacian facies in the lithic industry of the Tasmanians establishes for these natives a more advanced status than was hitherto suspected, in regard, at any rate, to their potentialities as artists in working stone for implement making. I use this apparent affinity only in respect of the stone-implements industry. Correspondence may be detected in other branches of the native culture, but our very meager information regarding their general culture, makes it unlikely that any detailed general affinity will be established, and it must be admitted that even in the material culture certain important differences are to be noted, which mitigate against the recognition of affinity on a wide basis. Many items are lacking in the Tasmanian outfit which are characteristic of the Aurignacian industry and several types of implements which are dominant in the latter are scarce in the former. The divergences may, perhaps, be due to the different environmental conditions, but the general culture status of the recent natives was without doubt at a lower level than that of late-Palaeolithic man in prehistoric times. 

The following groups of implement types are those among the artefacts of Tasmania which exhibit a close parallel with characteristic types of the Aurignacian culture-phase.

Pl.VII [75-81] Keeled Scrapers. This type is characterised by having a flat, unworked ‘ventral’ surface from which bold flaking extends up the lateral surfaces and over one or both ends to; or nearly to, the tope, or ‘dorsal’ region. In many instances the flake scars converge and together form a regular dorsal ridge; in others the convergence is less complete and the dorsal surface is more or less flat. The lateral flaking is very steep, the peripheral edge forming frequently a right angle with the flat ventral surface. The edge is usually further trimmer by detaching small flakes. Many of the specimens show signs of hard use in the crushing and splintering of the edge in places.

Fig. 75. A rather large example of what looks like highly silicified sandstone. The ventral surface is plane and slightly concave and arched, a few flakes have been detached at one end, perhaps unintentionally; the sides are very steep and formed by bold flaking which extends all-round the implement and the edge has been trimmed by small flaking; a portion of the dorsal ridge is flat, and parallel with the ventral surface and is the remnant of an old cleavage plane having a dull red colour. The transverse section shows the dorsal flattening.

Fig. 76. Another example made from a very thick flake struck from a block of quartzite. The flat ‘ventral’ surface is formed by the scar of detachment and at one end the bulb of percussion remains; the sides and back are completely flaked over and a dorsal ridge is well marked, especially at one end. The edge is trimmed nearly all round. The two ends differ, one end being rounded and deliberately shaped for use, the other end, where the bulb is seen, does not appear to have been intended for use and is truncated with the large diagonal facet. This specimen is of special interest since it corresponds very closely with a grattoir carrière discovered in the Grotte du Pape, Brassempouy, France and described by Piette and de la Parterie (‘L’Anthropologie’, IX,p.7 Fig. 10).

Fig. 77. A massive specimen very similar to the last and in certain respects even more nearly approximates to the example from the Grotte du Pape. The ventral surface is perfectly flat (probably and old cleavage plane0 it shows no bulb and is entirely unworked. The sides are very steep and are boldly flaked all round and are further trimmed along the edge. A sharp dorsal ridge extends from end to end and is formed along the junction of a flaked surface on one side and a diagonal cleavage plane on the other. As in the last specimen, one end is rounded and trimmed for use; the other is truncated by a large flake scare and is not trimmed.

Fig. 78. A Keeled scraper of silicified mudstone of the typical ‘tea cosy’ type. The ventral surface is flat and unworked. The steeply flaked sides converge to form a pronounced dorsal ridge (or ‘Keel’); a portion of one side appears to be part of the original pebbles surface of the block or boulder. The edge is trimmed round most of the periphery of the base; one end is formed with a rounded point the other end is untrimmed. This example bears a close resemblance to another Grattoir Carrière from the Grotte du Pape (ibid. Fig. 9) in which a pronounced ‘Keel’ extends from end to end. 

Fig. 79. Keeled scraper of silicified mudstone of very similar type to the last, with flat undersurface formed by a single fracture. A few thin flakes have been accidentally detached from it at a later date, as shown by the patination. The dorsal ridge is well defined, high-pitched and extends from end to end. One end is rounded, the other somewhat truncated, but both ends are trimmed and have considerably used. One of the sides has been flaked over more completely than the other, but large patches of ‘crust’ occur on both sides. The section is taken through the implement at its thickest point, where the ridge is somewhat deflected to the side. 

Fig. 80. A small keeled scraper of silicified wood. The base is flat, slightly curved and formed by a single flake scar. The irregular outline is due to unsuccessful flaking towards one end. The dorsal ridge is sharply defined and is formed by the flaking which extends all over one of the sides meeting a diagonal cleavage plane on the other side, where the trimming is mostly confined to the edge. The trimming extends along both edges, but is broken by the accidental fracturing on one side which spoils the symmetry of this long, low-pitched example.

Fig. 81. A still smaller specimen of silicified mudstone, with the sides flaked all over and converging to form a dorsal ridge which is continuous from end to end. Both ends are rounded and show signs of use. The edge along one side also shows considerable use. The ventral surface is flat and unworked. 

These keeled scrapers as a group offer a decidedly Aurignacian facies, especially Middle-Aurignacian, and all the types could probably be very closely matched by examples from that late-Palaeolithic in Western Europe. The type certainly occurs in other associations; excellent examples of ‘Keeled scrapers’ have been found on the Cape Flats in South Africa, in North America, in Palestine, and many more discovered associated with the Scandinavian ‘old stone’ (early Neolithic) and in Denmark.

Grattoir Carrières also appear to be associated locally in Spain with Upper Mousterian deposits (H.Obermain ‘El Hombre fosil’ 1916, Fig. 63).

Pl.VIII Core-scrapers. (Grattoirs tartes). These form a numerous group in the Tasmanian series, a group which, like the last, is particularly associated with Aurignacian culture in Western Europe, though also occurring in the Madelainean. The type was formerly regarded as a core from which flakes, for use as knives, had been struck, the cores remaining as ‘wasters’. But now it is recognised that these core-like objects were actual implements themselves – scrapers whose strong edge was adapted to hard pressure-use. For the most part the Tasmanian examples are roughly made, but several are, for this type of tool, well-shaped and carefully flaked and hardly fall short of the best-examples of late-Palaeolithic times. The variation in form also can be closely correlated with the variation observable in the European series. 

Fig. 82. A small ‘core-scraper’ of black silicified mudstone, with a plane unworked base, sub-circular with irregular margin. Seen from the side the form is sub-conical and the sides are flaked all round, with further, smaller flaking where necessary to trim the peripheral edge, and produce a usable edge all-round the base of the cone. This edge has been used in several places.

Fig. 83. A larger example, of indurated mudstone, with plane, unworked elliptical base, dome-like elevation, boldly flaked all over the converging sides, and trimmed all-round the edge, which has been used all round as the crushing of the edge signifies.

Fig. 84. Core-scraper of black silicified mudstone with flat base of irregular outline from which a long, thin flake has been removed, probably accidentally. Sub-conical in elevation, with converging bold flaking all round and trimmed usable and much used edge all round. 

Fig. 85. Core-scraper formed by detaching a thick flake from a pebble boulder of silicified mudstone. The fracture of detachment forms the flat base (85b) and the natural, pebbled original surface forms the rounded top and half of the sides, the other half of the sides being flaked over. The sides are very steep all round (Fig. 85a) and the peripheral edge would be usable at any part, whether in the trimmed or the untrimmed area.

Fig. 86. A core-scraper of light-brown quartzite with a flat, unworked base (86b), the sides are boldly flaked all round and the flake scares converge and meet each other at the apex, forming an unusually regular cone (86a). The edge is usable all round, but has not been subjected to much hard use. This example resembles one from Laugerie-Basse (Madelainean), figured by Burkitt (‘Prehistory’,1921,Pl.II, Fig. 14). It is less perfect in form than the very fine Madelainean core-scraper figured by H.Obermaier (‘El Hombre fosil’,1916, Fig. 37,no.5), but in clearly a slightly less highly specialised form of the same type. 

On the whole we may safely regard this type of tool as affording analogy to the corresponding group of implements which are a characteristic feature of the Aurignacian industry, while admitting that the type is not exclusively restricted to that industry, since it occurs occasionally in other associations (Madelainean, etc.)

Pl.IX. Nozzk-scrapers. (Grattoirs à museau). I now come to a group of Tasmanian implements which, perhaps, more than any other, suggests affinity between the ‘Melanesoid’ and the Aurignacian culture. The implements of this group in the Tasmanian series comprise abundant instances of almost exact correspondence with the Grattoirs à museau which were a dominant tool type during Aurignacian times, and appear to be particularly correlated with the Middle-Aurignacian phase. Not only can the forms in the recent and ancient series be closely correlated, but it is in this group of Tasmanian implements that we can see the best and most typical examples of ‘la retouché Aurignacien’ which, indeed, appears to be an even more frequently represented and more organised technique in the Tasmanian than in the Aurignacian outfit. Hence, I regard this tool-type as of crucial importance when it comes to evaluation the industrial status of the natives. Moreover, this group is numerically the most abundant in the whole Tasmanian outfit, and we are evidently dealing with a tool which was in constant use by the Natives.

The group is a variable one, but is characterised collectively by having a worked scraping edge confined to a very limited area of the flaked edge, this trimmed area very frequently jutting out in a more or less pronounced salient, which in some becomes a well-defined nozzle, deliberately so shaped.

Fig. 87. A nozzle-scraper (Grattoir museau) made from an irregular flake of indurated mudstone; probably the flake area fractured naturally along planes of cleavage. At one end a rounded, narrow salient has been formed by detachment of a largish flake on either side, to form the projecting ‘nozzle’, which has been very neatly flaked to a scraper end in a manner which is typically ‘Aurignacian’ (la retouché Aurignacienne).

Fig. 88. A nozzle-scraper made from a very irregularly shaped flake of quartzite, artificially struck off. The only secondary flaking is at the extreme lower end, where a group of three very small flakes have been removed, probably by pressure. These flake scars converge fan-wise in the Aurignacian manner and form a terminal nozzle-scraper at the extremity of the salient which was automatically formed when the main flake was struck from the core, the spread of the detaching fracture having been influenced by the inter-scar ridges on the outer surface. 

Fig. 89. A nozzle-scraper formed on the lateral margin of a struck flake of silicified mudstone. A pronounced salient has been formed by notching the margin, and the projection, which is very thin, has been trimmed so as to round it off. The very short secondary flaking is not especially Aurignacian in character. As the distal end has a little trimming of a not very organised nature. 

Fig. 90. A nozzle-scraper, made on a short, very wide and very thin flake of indurated mudstone. The bulb of percussion is at the centre of one of the longer margins. Short secondary flaking has produced a scraping nozzle of very low salience. An unusual feature is that this secondary edge-flaking is on the bulbas surface.

Fig. 91. A rather broad nozzle-scraper, made from a thick flake of indurated mudstone. The antibulbas surface is flaked over except along the centre where remains of a natural cementing layer are seen. At one end the salient has been slightly accentuated by lateral notching and is very neatly rounded off by the removal of long, narrow and converging flakes in the true Aurignacian manner. 

Fig. 92. Broad nozzle-scraper of indurated mudstone. The flake from which it is made is fairly thin, irregular in outline and shows the remains of a thick cementing-crust on one margin. The nozzle forms a wide salient, with carefully rounded edges, trimmed by detaching narrow converging flakes in a characteristically Aurignacian manner. I think that this delicate flaking must have been executed by pressure. This example very closely resembles an Aurignacian example from Bouitou Correze, France, figured by Breuil, but the technique is superior. 

Fig. 93. Scraper without a pronounced salient, but seemingly allied to the nozzle-scrapers. Formed on a struck flake, which on the bulbas surface exhibits a facet due apparently to the fracture having been deflected by a natural bedding plane. The rather bold ‘Aurignacian’ flaking on the antibulbas surface, by which the edge was trimmed for use is confined to the area of this facet, and shows considerable skill in its execution. Instead of being rounded, the trimmed edge is sub-angular. This type is rather unusual and may possibly have been intended for cutting rather than scraping. 

Fig. 94. A narrow nozzle-scraper made upon a thick external flake detached from a pebble of highly silicified mudstone. The antibulbas surface is strongly convex and is mainly the original pebbled surface, marked with curious non-uniform scares. One end of the flake has been trimmed to form a nozzle by detaching a large flake on either side. The resulting salient has been trimmed and rounded by detaching a group of long, narrow flakes very skillfully. 

Fig. 95. A narrow-scraper formed on a rather thick, irregular flake, whose lateral margins are facetted partly by flake scares, partly by fractures along bedding planes. At one end a few long, narrow converging flakes have been neatly removed, probably by pressure, in a manner reminiscent of Aurignacian flaking, forming an abruptly curved scraping edge. 

Fig. 96. Narrow nozzle-scraper formed on a flake whose outline seems to have been deformed by fractures along planes of bedding. The terminal salient at one end has been slightly accentuated by trimming and the nozzle has been rounded and shaped by skillful but not markedly convergent flaking.

Pl.X Fig. 96a Typical nozzle-scraper made on a thick irregular flake of indurated mudstone. A pronounced salient has been formed by detaching a large flake on either margin. The projection thus formed has been trimmed by convergent narrow flaking in a typically Aurignacian manner, probably by pressure. There is a little rough trimming of the margin along one side, to give general shape to the tool. 

Fig. 97. Nozzle-scraper of similar type, of indurated mudstone. The main flake has been roughly trimmed. The nozzle has been formed in the same manner as the last and trimmed in a similar typical Aurignacian manner. The graduated narrow flake scars, converging fanwise, are clearly the result of pressure flaking.

Fig. 98. Nozzle scrapers of similar type, on a very thick flake of indurate mudstone, which has fractured along three planes of bedding, the facets so formed are covered with the natural cementing layer. The nozzle salient has been formed as in the last two examples and is trimmed in a similar fashion the central flake scars of this trimmed area are unusually long (c. 2cm) and may have been formed by percussion flaking. The rest of the trimming suggests percussion flaking. 

Fig. 99. Nozzle-scraper on a thin, struck flake of indurated mudstone. The narrowing end of the flake furnished the desirable salient with the necessity of notching the margin. A few small flakes only have been removed, possibly by pressure, to shape the nozzle and form an acute scraping edge. 

Fig. 100. An unusual type of nozzle-scraper on an irregular struck flake of indurated mudstone. The worked nozzle is shaped upon the edge of a remaining portion of the striking platform which forms the under surface of the nozzle. The salient is formed by the scares of flakes previously struck from the core. The nozzle trimming consists of one flake scar some 1.7cm long and running along an inter-scar ridge, and of a few very small flake scares along the edge on either side. The edge angle formed by the convergence of the trimmed surface and the striking platform is 60o and that of the striking platform to the bulb surface of the flake is about 110o.

Fig. 101. Nozzle-scraper at the end of a thin, narrow flake of indurated mudstone. The flake is almost untrimmed except at the distal end from which a number of very delicate flakes have been removed, evidently by pressure; the flake scars forming the rounded nozzle converge more or less fanwise, after the Aurignacian manner and are extremely narrow, and exhibit extremely delicate manipulation and sureness of touch. The scraping angle is acute and the instrument is not intended for hand usage. 

Fig. 102. Nozzle-scraper worked upon a small and irregular flake of quartzite mudstone. The scraping nozzle, like the last, is formed by extremely delicate flaking and forms a rounded salient at one end of the flake. Several of the flake scars are excessively narrow for their length, and pressure must, I think, have been the method employed in producing them. 

Fig. 103. Nozzle-scraper worked upon a salient made by notching the margin at one end of a small flake of indurated mudstone. The flaking producing the very small, rounded nozzle is, again, of considerable delicacy and suggestive of the Aurignacian touch.

Fig. 104. Nozzle scraper of minute dimensions worked as a pronounced salient upon a thin flake of indurate mudstone, which is otherwise untrimmed. This nozzle is one of the smallest in the collection and has been formed with much skill, probably by pressure. This example resembles an Aurignacian one figured by Breuil from Bouitou, Correze, France, though the worked nozzle is far smaller and more delicate in the French specimen.

Fig. 105. Nozzle-scraper worked upon a broad, thick flake of indurated mudstone. The salient is formed by removal of large flakes on either margin, and the very neatly rounded nozzle has been trimmed with graduated flaking, converging fanwise upon the central flake scar which follows the ridge and is 1.8 cm long and very narrow. The technique is pronouncedly ‘Aurignacioid’. On another part of the margin the edge has been flaked to a bevel in the form of a rounded scraper of normal ‘grattoir’ type. The flaking here is short and coarse, and differs markedly in character from that by which the nozzle was formed.

Fig. 106. Twin nozzle-scraper worked upon a very irregular flake of indurated mudstone. Both form well-marked salients. One of the nozzles is very well and delicately flaked; the other required the removal of three flakes to complete the rounded prominence.

Fig. 107. Twin nozzle-scraper on a thickish flake of silicified mudstone. One nozzle is worked into a broad sub angular salient, the flaking being in typical Aurignacian style; the other, similarly flaked, is a broad rounded salient; in both cases the salient has been primarily formed by detaching large flakes on either side, throwing the space between them into prominence.

Fig. 108. Double nozzle-scraper, worked upon a thin-edged flake of indurated mudstone. The two nozzles stand out as slight salient and are formed by short flaking of nearly uniform length throughout and producing an abruptly defined beveled edge. 

Fig. 109. Double nozzle-scraper on a thick irregular flake of indurated mudstone. The nozzles are at opposite ends of the flake and are formed by flaking of a very delicate type in converging series, after the Aurignacian manner. The pitch of the curve of the two nozzles differ considerably, the one salient being far narrower than the others.

Fig. 110. Double nozzle-scraper on a flake of highly silicified mudstone. The nozzles are worked at opposite angles of the flake. The flaking of the upper one (in the figure) is in characteristic Aurignacian style, that of the others is less definite and cruder, though both appear to be of the same period, judging by the patination. The bulbas surface of the main flake is strongly convex.

Fig. 111. Triple nozzle-scraper on a flake of indurated mudstone. All three nozzles are worked at the opposite end to the bulb of percussion. Two of them are flaked with extreme delicacy in the best Aurignacian style, the flake-scares being exceedingly narrow. The third nozzle is more crudely worked, only one shows a pronounced salient. 

Fig. 112. Triple nozzle-scraper on a flake of indurated mudstone. The edge-trimming appears to be on the bulbas surface, an unusual feature. The three nozzles form a slight salient of varying curvature, and their flaking is not prominently Aurignacian. 

Fig. 113. Quadruple nozzle-scraper on a flake of indurated mudstone. Four distinct nozzles have been worked on the margin of a thickish flake. The salients are very slight and the secondary flaking is Aurignacian in type, though not as delicate as in some other examples.

Fig. 114. Quadruple nozzle-scraper on a flake of indurated mudstone which is very thick at the bulbas end and thins away towards the distal margin. The four nozzles are on well-defined salients, which have been formed by detaching large flakes. The secondary flaking of the nozzles is rather ‘Aurignaciod’ though not especially skillful. 

Fig. 115. Triple nozzle-scraper on a flake of indurate mudstone. The three nozzles form distinct salient and are formed by flaking in partly Aurignacian style, the upper one (in the fig used) exhibiting la retouché Aurignacienne in a delicate form. 

Fig. 116. Quintuple nozzle-scraper on a flake of indurated mudstone. This very rough example is of interest as having nozzles (A,B,C,D+E) worked on its margin, each stands out clearly and each little salient has been deliberately flaked to form a small nozzle-scraper. The salient marked B. is very close to and in fact confluent with the one marked A, and might be regarded as an accidental feature; but, when examined under a lens it appears to be quite deliberately, though rather slightly trimmed. 

While the single grattoirs à museau are a very characteristic tool of the middle Aurignacian culture of Europe, the multiple examples appear to be almost peculiar to the Tasmanian series. They are quite common in the latter, but I have not yet seen examples from the Ancient late-Palaeolithic European horizons, though they may occur occasionally. But the interest of the nozzle-scrapers of the Tasmanians lies in the fact that this most abundant of the tool types of these natives is not only a type which is especially associated with the Aurignacian culture phase, but that the technique and style of the aboriginal secondary flaking which prevailed in the manufacture of these tools is itself a peculiarly Aurignacian feature.

If anything, the Tasmanian natives applied this retouché Aurignacienne with even greater delicacy and skill than did the Aurignacian craftsmen themselves, and we may gather that the art of pressure flaking was well advanced amongst these aboriginals. It is curious that the significance of this group of tools should have been overlooked, as it is a very important factor in the diagnosis of the native lithic industry. 




Concave scrapers are quite abundant in Tasmania and in great variety, but, since this tool-type belongs to practically all periods of antiquity, I am limiting my remarks upon this group to a specialised type, the double concave-scrapers to which the name lames é’tranglées has been given by the French. Since this type is particularly characteristic of the Aurignacian horizons in Europe, it has a direct bearing upon my argument and lends support to my contention that in the Tasmanian stone-age culture there is, observable, a striking Aurignacian facies. 

Pl.XII. Fig. 117. Lame é’tranglée of silicious [sic] material closely resembling flint, perhaps chalcedony. A rough flake with a convcave scraper worked by secondary flaking on each of the opposite lateral margins. The flaking is rather crude but the curves of the scraping edges are fairly regular. 

Fig. 118. Lame é’tranglée of indurated mudstone. On each lateral margin a wide concave scraping edge has been worked without special skill. The wider of the two concavities is seemingly double as a central spur divides it into two recesses, either of which would serve as a concave scraper. 

Fig. 119. Lame é’tranglée. A very rough flake of what appears to be silicified wood, with a concave scraper worked upon each lateral margin, the two concavities are not directly opposite to one another; their curves are fairly regular.

Fig. 120 Lame é’tranglée of large size, of indurated mudstone. The main flake exhibits a very large bulb of percussion and waves of conchoidal fractures. A very wide concave scraper is worked on each lateral margin, having steep, strong edges, and directly opposite to one another. The edges show crushing from heavy use. 

Fig. 121. Lame é’tranglée. A rather thin flake of mudstone slightly silicified with well-defined concave scraper worked on each of the lateral margins. The two are diagonally opposite to each other. The concavity marked (a) is much steeper edged, and therefore stronger, than the other (b) which would not withstand heavy pressure. 

Fig. 122. Lame é’tranglée of indurated mudstone, with concavity worked on either lateral margin. In the formation of each a large flake has been detached to produce the curve which has needed only very slight retouching to perfect it. One concavity is double – as in Fig. 118. –; the twin recesses a1 and a2 being divided by a projecting spur. 

None of the lames é’tranglées exhibit any specially [sic] skilful [sic] regular secondary flaking, but as tools for rounding the shafts of spears or clubs, or for other such usage, these double concave-scraper would be quite efficient. It is the type, rather than the technique, which suggests Aurignacian affinity. 

Where so many features typical of the earlier phase of the late-Palaeolithic period can be noted, one naturally looks for occurrences of the burin, which is a dominant type of implement in Aurignacian horizons. Here, however, the analogy becomes less marked, though by no means absent. The ‘comp de burin’, by which a long, narrow flake is struck off and along an edge of the main flake, is to be noticed, though not very abundantly, in the Tasmanian stone-workers art, and tools bearing a very strong resemblance to Aurignacian burins occur. I have selected the following examples. (The burin-point is uppermost in each drawing).

Pl.XII. Fig. 123. Burin of indurated mudstone. By blows struck at the end of the main flake, a long lamellar flake has been removed along the length of the edge on either margin, for a distance of 3cm and 3.3cm respectively, the two margins thus becoming vertically facetted. The two facets converge to form the strongly-backed burin point. In this example the lower right margin has been worked into a concave scraper, so that this would appear to be a composite tool. 

Owing to the different nature and quality of the materials used, it is not easy to correlate exactly the technique of forming this type of burin in Tasmanian and in Aurignacian Europe, but it seems probable that the ‘coup de burin’ was similarly used in the two areas, and the effect is closely similar. 

Fig. 124. burin of indurated mudstone, made in the same manner as the last, formed by two converging ‘coups de burin’ extending 3.1cm and 2.8cm respectively. It is a broader example with wide-angled point.

Fig. 125. Burin of indurate mudstone, formed as in the previous examples, the burin facets extending 3.1cm and 2cm along the margins. The lower margin of the main flake has been trimmed to form a scraper on the opposite face to that shown in the drawing. 

Fig. 126. A very wide-angled burin of highly silicified mudstone. Like the others the angle is formed by converging coup de burin facets, 2.8cm and 2.6cm in length, the burin point is strongly-backed, being 1 cm thick. There is no other secondary trimming of the main flake. 

Fig. 127. Strongly-backed Burin of indurated mudstone formed at the thicker end of an irregular flake at the intersection of two large facets, which are scars of flakes, removed à coup de burin, 4.3cm and 3.6cm long respectively. The thickness of the burin angle is about 1.4cm, and the ridge between the two surfaces is somewhat sinuous and gouge-like. 

Fig. 128. Strongly-backed burin formed on a fairly thick flake of indurated mudstone. Here,again, the burin point is formed by convergence of two ‘burin facets’ of large size, each 4.1cm in length. The thickness at the point is 1cm. 

Fig. 129. Burin of thin, weak type, on a thin flake of highly silicified mudstone. The burin point is formed at one angle of a rectangular flake, by intersection of two ‘burin facets’, one being 2.6cm long extended from angle to angle of the flake. The other is 1.2cm long and ends abruptly in a ‘shoulder’, as is so frequently the case with late-Palaeolithic burins, as the thickness at the point is only about .2cm, the implement would not stand hard usage or heavy pressure.

Fig. 130. Burin formed on a thin flake of indurated mudstone. The angle is a wide one and is formed at the junction of a burin facet, 3.6cm long on one side, and a flaked beveled edge on the other; the trimming of which has a Mousterian facies. This type, in which the two margins which meet at the burin point has been shaped by the different processes (by a longitudinal, simple flake-scar on one margin and by several short flake scares on the other), is far from common in the Aurignacian series. 

Fig. 131. Burin formed on a very thin flake of indurated mudstone. The burin angle, as in the last, is formed by convergence of a long burin facet on one margin, 3cm long, and a transversely flaked beveled edge on the other margin. The lower margin of the main flake is also trimmed by small flaking. 

The comparative scarcity of burins in Tasmania is correlated with a dearth of designs produced by engraving, though, ‘burins’ could, no doubt, serve for other purposes than engraving. But if we assume that the great abundance and variety of ‘burins; during the Aurignacian in Europe, is due in great part, to a demand for specialised tools appropriate for scoring incised lines on hard surfaces, in connection with the art development of that period; then the very meager indications of ‘artistics’ [sic] among the aborigines may explain the scarcity of tools of this type. It is none the less of interest to note that the two types of burin, which occur in Tasmania; (1) those formed by two converging ‘burin facets’, made by the coup de burin technique, and (2) those formed by convergence of one burin facet and a transversely flaked margin, are both characteristic of the Aurignacian series. 

From the descriptions which I have here given of some of the characteristic stone implements of the Tasmanians, it will, I think, be clear that the earlier estimates of the culture status of these native have been far from correct. The skill displayed in working stone has been underrated. We can dismiss without further comment the diagnoses of those archaeologists who have seen in the lithic technique of Tasmania the survival of a pre-palaeolithic or eolithic phase, urging that the standard attained to was not that even of early Palaeolithic Man. Such a view could only be held by those who have never had the opportunity of examining the better examples of the native skill. Great numbers of wasters and roughly fractured, flaked implements may be found everywhere; around old camp-sites and at the quarry sites, but these have little bearing upon the standard of skill reached by the natives. By some writers a Mousterian standard has been recognised, and quite rightly, the close resemblance which may be seen between a very large series of Tasmanian implements, together with the technique of their manufacture, and some of the most typical tool types of the Middle-Palaeolithic period in Europe, has been pointed out. I have given a number of striking instances of this Mousterian facies, both in type and technique, from the Tasmanian collection.

But the objection of my thesis is to prove that a correlation with the Middle-Palaeolithic culture does not carry far enough, and that the evidence of a still more advanced development is not only manifest, but extremely abundant. The frequent occurrence in many widely separated areas of Tasmania of such types as the grattoir carrière, the grattoir tarte, and particularly the great abundance of the grattoir à museau, which are such characteristic features of the Aurignacian horizons of France, can leave little doubt in one’s mind as to the validity of a correlation with the industry of that period. The further support afforded by not infrequent occurrence of lames é’tranglées and burins, and other types of Aurignacian facies and the fact that the secondary flaking of certain types of the implement, notably the grattoir a museau, exhibits the quality and character of the most delicate retouch Aurignacienne, and completes the analogy as far as the stone implements are concerned. 

I have omitted reference to a number of other stone implement types which also have an important bearing upon the status which should be assigned to the Tasmanians in regard to their stone-working technique, These I must deal with at some future time. I will merely refer to the occurrence of a great variety of pointed tools (other than ‘burins’); concave and convex scrapers (of types not dealt with in this paper; combination tools, flakes with worked edges on alternate faces; hammer-stones, discarded and other anvil stones with surfaces often smoothed by grinding; implements worked all over (‘core-implements’) and a single example of a cutting or chopping tool, whose cutting edge has been improved by grinding both surfaces to a slight extent, a most unusual occurrence ( this specimen, I have already described and figured in Proc. Prehisto. E. Soc. E. Anglia V 1925, p.14 Fig. 28a+b).

But, I think that the facts, which I have adduced, suffice to prove that there a very marked analogy exists between very considerable numbers of highly characteristic Tasmanian implements and several of the implement groups which are most typical of the Aurignacian culture phase in Western Europe. In some instances, eg. the Carninate and Tarte scrapers, the analogy is chiefly with the earlier phase of Aurignacian, others, eg. the grattoirs à museau are chiefly associated with the Middle Aurignacian, though also to some extent associated with Solutreau and Madelainean industries.

I have urged that pressure-flaking was large resorted to for achieving the more delicate trimming of edges of flakes and that the long, very narrow, lamellar flake scars which are so frequently seen in graduated series in a fan-like formation, were due to pressure-flaking. A comparison of this very delicate Tasmanian technique with the well-known ‘retouché Aurignacienne’ shows that the two are practically identical. It seems to me, that this technique was even more perfected by the Tasmanians than by the Aurignacian craftsmen, and we must give the former due credit for this achievement. 

Pl.XIV. The only implement of bone from Tasmania, which I have so far see (as far as I can ascertain, the only example in Great Britain0, is a specimen in the Westlake collection. It was found in a midden, at Adventure Bay, South Bruni Island, associated with stone implements which largely present an Aurignacian facies. The bone I have identified as the upper part of a fibula of a young kangeroo [sic]. In its present state it is 18.2cm long. At one end the bone is unaltered, although the cartilaginous epiphysis is missing, not having become fused with the bone. The other end is truncated and is considerably worn with use, the whole surface here being smoothed and rounded with use; a few small fragments have been broken off, apparently from use. Some slight striations at this end of the bone are suggestive of employment as a pressure-flaker, and, in general, the use end bears a fairly close resemblance to use bones which are known to be pressure-flakers from Arizona, as also to bone rods which I have myself used for this purpose. A single specimen is not conclusive, but the evidence afforded by a large number of the stone implements points strongly, it not conclusively, to the Tasmanians having been well acquainted with this more delicate flaking technique, as well as the more prevalent and bolder method of flaking by percussion. The use of pressure flaking in itself suggests late-Palaeolithic status for the lithic industry of these natives. The Tasmanians have not hitherto been credited with pressure-flaking, until I made the suggestion in the paper, already referred to, but it is clear that we must now credit them with a knowledge of this technique in a highly perfected fashion and used with great delicacy. The Australians certainly made use of the process and pressure-flaking was known to the Solomon Islanders.

In endeavoring to account for the differential facies to be noted in the flaked stone implements of Tasmania, when considered in bulk, we are faced with difficulties. As far as can be ascertained implements of characteristically Mousterian type are found directly associated with those of Aurignacian facies, there being no evidence at present of the two identities being separate. It may be that stratigraphical investigation, when this is carried out, will reveal an earlier and a later culture phase within the island. But, so far, no such evidence is available and it is necessary to regard the whole of the native stone implements as belonging to a single culture phase, in spite of the typological differentiation, so suggestive of a middle Palaeolithic industry on the one hand and a late palaeolithic industry on the other. From evidence at present available we must conclude that when the Tasmanian race migrated from Australia into Tasmania, at a time, presumably, before the Bars Strait became an insurpassable [sic] obstacle, or even when the island was still connected with South East Australia, they brought with them a stone-working industry which combined features characteristic of both middle and late Palaeolithic workmanship. Alternatively we may suppose that the immigrant native arrived with a 'Moustierioid' technique already developed and the 'Aurignacioid' features were evolved locally and independently of the occupation of the island. This, however, is most unlikely; as such ‘convergence’ of culture sequences appears almost incredible, where comparison is based upon the European sequence. For in Europe the Aurignacian culture was not directly derived from the Mousterian, but was abruptly superposed upon it by an invading people, who not only were of different culture but also represented a physically different species of Man. The evidence from Kenya, derived from Leakey’s excavations, shows that in the region the people of Aurignacian or Caprician affinity were contemporaneous with the latter, both races occupying the area simultaneously and yet developing their material culture upon different lines. The one culture may, no doubt, have influenced the other, each borrowing ideas from the other. There is the possibility that the ancestors of the Tasmanians may have acquired their stone working techniques from two distinct sources, with the result of a fusion of some of the characteristics of the two industries to form a composite result, but there is little to suggest where this fusion may have taken place. Until more is known as to the geographical dispersal of the two industries concerned, the problem will remain fluid and unresolved. A further difficulty arises over the physical types. If an early fusion of the elements of two distinct cultures is responsible for the dual character of the Tasmanian lithic industry, one might expect that the Tasmanians themselves would exhibit physical characteristics betraying affinity to one or both of the races from which the culture-fusion was derived. But the Tasmanians do not suggest in their physical type any close affinity to either the Neanderthal or the Cro-Magnon type of man, nor do they seem to offer evidence of a derivation from the hybridisation of the two stocks. The Tasmanian is a well demarcated type, exhibiting a nearer relationship with the Melanesian stick than with any other, and there is but little to suggest any direct descent either from an Aurignacian or Mousterian prototype or from a hybrid of these two. 

It seems highly probably that the Tasmanians must have reached their final home via Australia, and the marked differentiation between the culture of the Tasmanians and that of the far more advanced Australians would suggest that the migration took place at a time prior to the occupation of Australia by the Australians or at least before the latter had developed their culture. But very little evidence has so far been attained which points to an earlier culture stratum corresponding with that of Tasmania and differentiated stratigraphically as well as typologically from a typical Australian culture. Implements have been found in Australia closely resembling some characteristic Tasmanian types. And in a few places aggregations of Tasmanioid implements have been discovered. But, as far as I am aware, no purely 'Tasmanioid' layer has been found definitely unassociated with implements of 'Australioid' types; nor is there any certain indication so far of the former having preceded the latter as occupants of Australian soil. One would have expected to find such evidence in New South Wales and in time, probably, the migration route followed by the proto-Tasmanians may be indicated. One of the most significant finds pointed to such an early occupation of Australian soil by a people with Tasmanioid culture, is that made at Hawk’s Nest, Murray’s Lagoon, on Kangaroo Island, off the South Australian Coast. Here have been found pitted hammer stones, anvil-stones, trimmed flakes and cores (some of the latter of Tarté type), all of which are strongly reminiscent of well-defined Tasmanian types. The ensemble of implement types is far more suggestive of Tasmanian than of Australian material culture. Some antiquity must be assigned to the finds, since all organic camp debris has perished. No remains of the Dingo have been found, though it seems likely that the peopling of the island by natives must have occurred before the island became detached from the mainland, before the present strait 13kl wide was formed. The separation was affected long enough ago to account for some of the mammals acquiring sub-specific rank. The native inhabitants had vanished before the first White visitation (by Matthew Flinders in 1802) occurred. But on Kangaroo Island stratification of cultures has been indicated, suggesting an early occupation by the Tasmanian race and a later by the Australians…

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