The Resource Mortuary practices and paleodiet as archaeological signatures of social organization and status at Roonka on the Lower Murray River of South Australia, by Donald Pate

Mortuary practices and paleodiet as archaeological signatures of social organization and status at Roonka on the Lower Murray River of South Australia, by Donald Pate

Label
Mortuary practices and paleodiet as archaeological signatures of social organization and status at Roonka on the Lower Murray River of South Australia
Title
Mortuary practices and paleodiet as archaeological signatures of social organization and status at Roonka on the Lower Murray River of South Australia
Statement of responsibility
by Donald Pate
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
"Mortuary practices and dietary bone strontium provide no evidence for a non-egalitarian form of social organisation during the last 7000 years among Aboriginal populations at the site of Roonka on the Lower Murray River of South Australia. Distinctions in mortuary treatment and diet are solely based on differences of age and sex. Bone strontium studies indicate a differential access to food resources based upon male age. In the Roonka II burials (7000-4000 BP), bone strontium content decreases with increasing male age indicating that older Aboriginal males had a greater access to terrestrial protein during life. Bone strontium values increase with male age in the upper levels of Roonka III (4000 BP - AD 1840/1850). Older males of this Roonka IIIb period had diets consisting of greater amounts of vegetable foods and/or freshwater molluscs relative to terrestrial protein. Female bone strontium content is variable, but there is no correlation with differential age. During Roonka II males were buried in an isolated cemetery, whereas in Roonka III and entire age-sex cross section of the population is buried in association with residues. Differences in the types male/female grave goods in Roonka III burials provide evidence for the role differentiation or a tradition of labour on the basis of sex. There is also a differentiation based on quantity of grave goods. Majority of these elaborate graves of those of older males. This dietary and mortuary distinctions suggest that some form of Aboriginal social organisation based upon a hierarchy of male "age-statuses" existed along the Lower Murray River during the prehistoric period. The continuity of a similar social structure,cult lodges, into historic times suggests that there is some adaptive value to such an organisation. A model which relates the regulation of the exchange of women by older men with access to food and water in distant territories during periods of resource stress is provided as an explanation for the contiuity of these male hierarchies among Aboriginal Australians" [Austhor's abstract]
Dissertation note
Thesis (M.A.) Dept. of Anthropology, Brown University 1984
Label
Mortuary practices and paleodiet as archaeological signatures of social organization and status at Roonka on the Lower Murray River of South Australia, by Donald Pate
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Bibliography : p. 117-132
Contents
Introduction : social stratification; Mortuary practices and social structure; The Buchanan Reservoir Project; Mortuary practices and social organization at Roonka -- Bone strontium and paleodiet: strontium movement from soil to man; Postdepositional effects on bone composition -- Site context: the lower Murray environment; archaeological sites of the lower Murray; Stratigraphy of Roonka Flat; Other Aboriginal burial sites in Australia -- Materials and methods: bone strontium analysis : procedures; Morphological studies of the Roonka skeletal remains -- Results: Sex and age; Burial mode; Bone strontium; Roonka II; Roonka IIIa; Roonka IIIb; Atomic absorption results; Bone calcium levels at Roonka -- Discussion: social organization and status at Roonka; Evidence of European contact; Cemeteries in resource-rich environments; Differential access to resources in an egalitarian society?
Extent
137 leaves
Governing access note
Open access - reading. Open copying for private study (in accordance with Copyright Act 1968), closed quotation. Not for Inter-Library Loan
Stock number
MAR07/133
Label
Mortuary practices and paleodiet as archaeological signatures of social organization and status at Roonka on the Lower Murray River of South Australia, by Donald Pate
Publication
Bibliography note
Bibliography : p. 117-132
Contents
Introduction : social stratification; Mortuary practices and social structure; The Buchanan Reservoir Project; Mortuary practices and social organization at Roonka -- Bone strontium and paleodiet: strontium movement from soil to man; Postdepositional effects on bone composition -- Site context: the lower Murray environment; archaeological sites of the lower Murray; Stratigraphy of Roonka Flat; Other Aboriginal burial sites in Australia -- Materials and methods: bone strontium analysis : procedures; Morphological studies of the Roonka skeletal remains -- Results: Sex and age; Burial mode; Bone strontium; Roonka II; Roonka IIIa; Roonka IIIb; Atomic absorption results; Bone calcium levels at Roonka -- Discussion: social organization and status at Roonka; Evidence of European contact; Cemeteries in resource-rich environments; Differential access to resources in an egalitarian society?
Extent
137 leaves
Governing access note
Open access - reading. Open copying for private study (in accordance with Copyright Act 1968), closed quotation. Not for Inter-Library Loan
Stock number
MAR07/133

Library Locations

    • Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)Borrow it
      51 Lawson Cres, Acton, ACT, 2601, AU
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