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Index of Dates from Archaeological Sites in Queensland.

By Sean Ulm & Jill Reid Queensland Archaeological Research 12, 2000. Anthropology Museum, University of Queensland. ISSN 0814 3021. Pp. 129. AUD 33 (inc. GST), plus postage.

This is a comprehensive yet concise listing of 849 dates from 258 archaeological sites in Queensland. It includes a range of information about the sites, the age determinations and interpretations, and references to the source literature. The material is presented in several tables, including Basic Determination Data, Advanced Determination Data, Site Information and Site References.

The key to using this Index is to know the names of the sites you are interested in. Although the authors state that readers `will find the Index useful for quickly identifying whether dated archaeological sites occur in a specific management or potential development area' (pp. 1-2), the lists of sites by Region or 1:250,000 Map Sheet are too broad for most such purposes. Users of the Index who are not already familiar with relevant sites will need to contact the EPA Cultural Heritage Branch for this information, and will thus be required to justify their research. Alternatively, one could pinpoint sites by a tedious examination of latitude and longitude, given in the Site Information section.

Once you have found the site(s) you are looking for, a whole range of information is available: dating method, laboratory code, conventional radiocarbon age, calibrated age, material dated and source, site type and location, principal investigator, references. The last category is a wonderful source, particularly when so much information is only available in theses or publications which are not readily available outside a university library (if then). Armed with these references we can now request the precise material we need.

One section contains Notes on Individual Determinations, which includes mis-reported dates, those considered anomalous by the investigator, and other corrections or clarifications. The authors have obviously gone to a lot of trouble to check as many references as possible, and it seems we should all be more careful in our transcriptions. Even the authors are not exempt from mistakes: a citation of mine for Jiyer Cave Beta 2471 was listed as mis-reported, but when I looked it up, it was correct. Similarly for Leefe Peak SUA-1658. However, other entries in this section that I checked were accurate.

No-one with an interest in archaeology in Queensland should be without a copy of this book -- and please do read those Explanatory Notes!

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Author:Horsfall, Nicky
Publication:Archaeology in Oceania
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Apr 1, 2002
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