Dataset

Botany Bay BB4 Archaeological Site, New South Wales: NP1059

Also known as: BB4
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ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rft_val_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Adc&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2FANDS&rft_id=http://www.australianmuseum.net.au/Botany-Bay-BB4-Archaeological-Site-New-South-Wales-NP1059&rft.title=Botany Bay BB4 Archaeological Site, New South Wales: NP1059&rft.identifier=AM0009&rft.publisher=Museum Metadata Exchange&rft.description=In the late 1960s Vincent Megaw, now Emeritus Professor at Flinders University in Adelaide, excavated the Aboriginal site at Captain Cook’s Landing Place. The site includes an extensive midden, containing large amounts of shell and fish-bone. Sydney cockle, turban shells, mussels and oysters, as well as bones of snapper and bream indicate the meals of the Gweagal and their ancestors. There are also remnants, in smaller quantities, of seals, dolphins, whales, sea-birds, and some mammals. The site is prominent for the large quantity of complete and partially-finished fish hooks made from various sea shells as well as numerous bone spear barbs that were used for the prongs of fishing spears.&rft.creator=Anonymous&rft.date=2017&rft.coverage=Captain Cook's Landing Place, New South Wales, Australia&rft.coverage=Kurnell, New South Wales, Australia&rft_subject=ethnography&rft_subject=Field work&rft_subject=indigenous artefacts&rft_subject=Fishhooks&rft_subject=stone tools&rft.type=dataset&rft.language=English Access the data

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Brief description

In the late 1960s Vincent Megaw, now Emeritus Professor at Flinders University in Adelaide, excavated the Aboriginal site at Captain Cook’s Landing Place. The site includes an extensive midden, containing large amounts of shell and fish-bone. Sydney cockle, turban shells, mussels and oysters, as well as bones of snapper and bream indicate the meals of the Gweagal and their ancestors. There are also remnants, in smaller quantities, of seals, dolphins, whales, sea-birds, and some mammals. The site is prominent for the large quantity of complete and partially-finished fish hooks made from various sea shells as well as numerous bone spear barbs that were used for the prongs of fishing spears.

Significance

Captain Cook’s Landing Place in Kurnell, now the Sydney suburb located on the southern headland of Botany Bay, has special historical symbolism. On 29 April 1770 Captain James Cook and his companions, botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander stepped on the Australian soil, right into the land of the Gweagal People. Over eight days the Europeans explored the area, eventually naming it Botany Bay because of the rich harvest of botanical specimens they collected. The Gweagal People generally avoided direct interaction with the Europeans, but this short encounter left a significant mark on history. For Indigenous Australians it became a symbol of invasion; for others the landing place is often considered ‘the birthplace of modern Australia’, even though Cook symbolically annexed the east coast of Australia for Britain a few months later, on 22 August, in far north Torres Strait.

In the late 1960s Vincent Megaw, now Emeritus Professor at Flinders University in Adelaide, excavated the Aboriginal site at Captain Cook’s Landing Place. The site includes an extensive midden, containing large amounts of shell and fish-bone. Sydney cockle, turban shells, mussels and oysters, as well as bones of snapper and bream indicate the meals of the Gweagal and their ancestors. There are also remnants, in smaller quantities, of seals, dolphins, whales, sea-birds, and some mammals. Remnants of fire places indicate that people were camping and cooking their meals there.

The site is prominent for the large quantity of complete and partially-finished fish hooks made from various sea shells as well as numerous bone spear barbs that were used for the prongs of fishing spears. Some stone artefacts include edge-ground axes used for various woodwork, among which making bark canoes was an important task for this nation of consummate fishermen and women. The archaeological evidence from this site neatly complements the Aboriginal mode of life at Botany Bay as recorded by Cook, Banks and subsequent European diarists of the First Fleet 18 years later.

Data time period: 1770

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Spatial Coverage And Location

text: Captain Cook's Landing Place, New South Wales, Australia

text: Kurnell, New South Wales, Australia

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