DOI: 10.1002/arco.5307 ISSN: 0728-4896

A 600–700‐year‐old basalt adze production site from Mount Bates, Norfolk Island

Nicola Jorgensen, Amy Mosig Way, James Flexner
  • Archeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archeology


While pre‐European settlement of Norfolk Island has been recognised for many decades, particularly the larger settlement site at Emily Bay, until this point there has been limited understanding, and very little systematic recording of evidence for inland settlement. This report presents the location, chronology, stratigraphy and artefact assemblage of a previously undocumented lithic production site from Mount Bates in the north‐western uplands of Norfolk Island. The site dates to approximately 600–700 calBP. Excavations recovered over 1200 basalt artefacts, representing various stages in the adze production process. Sites such as this contribute to a better understanding of the range of activities carried out by Polynesian settlers of Norfolk Island, the stone tool economies of marginal Polynesia and the importance of local stone sources for understanding Oceanic settlement.

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