Bone and tooth tools and ornaments have been made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for at least 46,000 years, using some of the oldest technologies in the world. Despite their beauty, sophistication and ubiquity, archaeologists and other researchers have overwhelmingly focused on the stone artefacts of Australia. Consequently, until now, we have known little of how bone and tooth objects were made and used, or how individual communities differed in how they worked with the material.
A Record in Bone brings together into one volume the scattered and sometimes difficult-to-find research and findings of more than a century. It reveals Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ innovative bone, tooth, quill and claw industries, including the extensive use of ornamentation, the bone points and hooks which have been central to fishing in Australia for about 5000 years, and much more.
This volume is a perfect companion to A Record in Stone: The study of Australia’s flaked stone artefacts (ASP 2007). It will be an invaluable reference text for professionals in, and students of, archaeology, anthropology, Indigenous studies and museum studies. It is also an easy-to-read introduction for anyone interested in Australia’s past, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and technology
- Paperback (section sewn)
- 175mm x 240mm
- 272 pp + 4 pp cover (includes 8 pp colour section)
- Released October 2023
- ISBN 9780855751289
About the author
Associate Professor Michelle C Langley FSA is an archaeologist in the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. She studied archaeology at The University of Queensland before earning her PhD in Palaeolithic archaeology at the University of Oxford. Her work focuses on the use of antler, bone, ivory, tooth, and shell in creating tools and ornaments by communities the world over. She is equally passionate about human cognitive evolution and the identification of children’s behaviour in archaeological contexts.
She has been published in specialist and academic journals, including Nature Communications, Antiquity, Quaternary Science Reviews and the Journal of Human Evolution. She has written for and appeared regularly in the media, including National Geographic, New Scientist, Archaeology Magazine, NITV, SBS and the ABC. She was a recipient of the 2018 Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award and was a finalist in Women in Technology Research Leaders in Science 2021. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.
About the cover
Cover design: Sarah Evans
Cover images: Adam Black