Roonka Archaeology

Roonka Flat




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The Roonka site was excavated by former SA Museum staff member, Graeme Pretty from 1969 to 1984. This extensive open site excavation began at Roonka Flat on the Murray River, Lower Murray Valley region, South Australia. Excavation focused on a series of low, deflated sand dunes. A significant amount of stone tools, animal bones, shellfish and other organics were retrieved through excavation. Roonka is best known as a burial site and approximately 200 individuals were retrieved from the main excavation trenches. Occupation and burial cluster between 4,000 to 7,000 years ago, but the oldest burial is associated with an OSL date of 20,000BP. The site was occupied into post contact times, as witnessed by the presence of pearl buttons and a clay pipe with one burial.

Prior to 1969 numerous salvages were made by SAM staff of surface material as it eroded from the dune.

'Roonka; fugitive traces and climatic mischief' (2009) edited by Keryn Walshe. Current doctoral investigation of human remains by Rebekah Candy, University of Adelaide, South Australia.


Aboriginal art; Aboriginal peoples; Artefacts; Burial sites; Burials; Death; Excavations (Archaeology); Tools

Aboriginal artefacts; Aboriginal culture; Aboriginal peoples (Australians); Burial grounds; Stone tools

Animal bones; Archaeological excavation; Archaeology; Burial site; Clay pipe; Excavation Assemblage; Grave goods; Mortuary practices; Organics; Pearl buttons; Post contact; Roonka Dune; Roonka Flat; Shellfish; Stone tools

Animal bones; Stone tools

Graeme Pretty

Coverage Spatial

Roonka Dune; Roonka Flat, Murray River, Lower Murray Valley, South Australia

Coverage Temporal

20000 BP

4,000 BP

Related Collections


2012-05-30 23:41

2011-03-18 22:57