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Geomorphological context and formation history of Cloggs Cave: What was the cave like when people inhabited it?

Abstract : New research undertaken at Cloggs Cave, in the foothills of the Australian Alps, employed an integrated geological-geomorphological-archaeological approach with manifold dating methods and fine resolution LiDAR 3Dmapping. Long-standing questions about the site’s chronostratigraphy (e.g. the exact relationship between basalmegafaunal deposits and archaeological layers), sedimentation processes and geomorphic changes were resolved.The cave’s formation history was reconstructed to understand its changing morphology and morphogenicprocesses, and to clarify how these processes shaped the cave’s deposits. Key findings include the identificationof: 1) the geomorphological processes that caused the lateral juxtaposition of 52,000 year-old megafaunal andlater occupational layers; 2) the existence of one and possibly two (now-buried) palaeo-entrance(s) that enablednow-extinct megafauna and extant large fauna to enter the cave, most likely via a free-roaming passage ratherthan a pit drop; 3) morphological changes to the cave during the time of the Old People, including the timing ofchanges to the inclination of palaeo-surfaces; and 4) modifications to stalactites, crushing of calcite formationsfor the manufacture of powder, construction of a stone arrangement, and movement of large limestone blocks bythe Old People. Ultimately, these findings demonstrate that to properly understand what Cloggs Cave was likewhen the Old People visited the site requires the construction of a narrative that spans some 400 million yearsand the development of an approach capable of integrating the many scales and processes (e.g. geological,geomorphological, archaeological) that configured to shape the site.
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Contributor : Jean-Jacques DELANNOY Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, March 22, 2021 - 8:00:40 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 3:06:34 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, June 23, 2021 - 7:27:06 PM


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Jean-Jacques Delannoy, Bruno David, Joanna Fresløv, Russell Mullett, Helen Green, et al.. Geomorphological context and formation history of Cloggs Cave: What was the cave like when people inhabited it?. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Elsevier, 2020, 33, pp.102461. ⟨10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102461⟩. ⟨halshs-03115566⟩



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